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Bill Frisell: Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian

Bill Frisell

In Paul Motian’s spacious, bassless trio with Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell, the guitarist adopts a fluid role in which he easily, organically morphs from pianistic comping to playing contrapuntal lines with Lovano to occasionally filling in bass lines by detuning his low E string and deftly putting up low-end ostinatos on his repeat pedal (tweaked down an octave lower at half speed).

Frisell’s other key function in Motian’s ethereal trio is that of resident sonic provocateur, whereby he contributes dreamlike textures with his masterful command of swirling loops and backward effects. In this context, where time is oblique and largely implied rather than overtly stated, the music is characterized by a series of ellipses, dashes and exclamation points rather than standard units of rhythm, harmony and melody.

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