Bill Frisell Band: Lookout For Hope (ECM)

 |   |  1 min read

Bill Frisell Band: Little Brother Bobby (1988)
Bill Frisell Band: Lookout For Hope (ECM)

It would be a brave or foolish person who tried to give a snapshot of the career of this guitarist in just a few short sentences: so here goes a fool.

Frisell came out of the Midwest (so there's some country, widescreen sensibilities and folk for you) and studied at Berklee with Jim Hall (some straight jazz into the mix).

He became an integral player in the New York Downtown scene with his trio (Joey Baron on drums, Kermitt Driscoll on bass - I saw them in the Knitting Factory, extraordinary) but got a break when Pat Metheny couldn't make an ECM session with drummer Paul Motian. Frisell sat in and that album Psalm in 82 is one of the best in the label's early catalogue.

Frisell brought a swooning and woozy tone to the album (his work on Mandeville is worth the admission price alone), and that became a signature style.

He has explored straight country and bluegrass in his distinctive manner and is perhaps best known as the name in small print on albums by Elvis Costello, Paul Motian and saxophonist Joe Lovano, John Zorn, Jan Garbarek, Marianne Faithfull (he's on Strange Weather), Vic Chesnutt, Loudon Wainwright, Lucinda Williams (West), David Sylvian . . .

Enough already.

This mid-price album from 88 in the ECM Touchstone reissue series is the ideal sampler if you want to hear guitar playing that offers the beautifully unexpected, twists of melody, corkscrew tunes, shifts of time that catch you by surprise -- and everywhere sounds just gorgeous because of his warm tone. There's also humor aplenty in this music and what doesn't have you on alert will have you grinnin' like a fool.

Terrific stuff. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ticket: Awake (Aztec/Southbound)

Ticket: Awake (Aztec/Southbound)

When Kiwi acid-rockers Ticket from the early Seventies re-formed towards the end of 2010 for a couple of gigs it was hoped that this reissue of their trippy classic, Hendrix-inspired album would be... > Read more

Various Artists: Waiata 2 (Sony)

Various Artists: Waiata 2 (Sony)

Here's my guess: At a party if you played certain songs by Tom Jones, Tony Christie, John Rowles, Englebert Humperdinck, Frankie Stevens or any number of other MOR big ballad singers, most people... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2013 Aaradhna

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2013 Aaradhna

The annual APRA Silver Scroll award acknowledges excellence in songwriting, so at Elsewhere we modified our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire and tailored it to be specifically about the craft of... > Read more

El Hadj N'Diaye: Geej (Marabi)

El Hadj N'Diaye: Geej (Marabi)

This Senegalese singer-guitarist (here recorded in Paris) has one of those mesmerisingly soulful voices which, even though you probably don't understand a word, pulls you in. His lyrics address... > Read more