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Portland Jazz Festival: A Celebration of ECM

Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell is nothing if not eclectic and his albums continue to defy expectation and convention. Long considered one of the most adventurous guitarists on the jazz scene, Frisell incorporates elements of rock, country, blues, world music and Monk-ian whimsy into his own uniquely American vision. Not surprisingly, he never rested on any single influence for more than a moment when he performed at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium.

Touring with the “Unspeakable Orchestra,” a group whose name and focus comes from Frisell’s 2005 Grammy-winning album Unspeakable, the performance melded backbeat-laden grooves and symphonic riffing with pure orchestral ambience and Frisell’s subtle, idiosyncratic guitar work. Consisting mostly of players from Frisell’s longstanding troupe of collaborators, the ensemble featured Greg Tardy on tenor sax and clarinet, Ron Miles on trumpet, Jenny Scheinman on violin, Eyvind Kang on viola, Hank Roberts on cello, Tony Scherr on bass and drummer Kenny Wollesen.

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