Always a very original guitarist with a sound of his own, Bill Frisell mixes together the influence of Jim Hall with aspects of country music, avant-garde jazz, rock and his own fertile imagination. Born in Baltimore in 1951, Frisell grew up in Denver. He played clarinet starting in fourth grade and at one time thought of becoming a classical clarinetist. He found his way to the guitar and, after a period playing rock and R&B, he discovered Wes Montgomery and jazz. Frisell studied at the University of Northern Colorado with guitarist Johnny Smith, attended the Berklee College of Music, had a few lessons with Hall, and began developing his echoey atmospheric sound, utilizing volume pedals, delay, reverb, distortion and octave shifters in unusual ways. In the late 1970s he began a decade-long association with ECM, utilizing such musicians as Jan Garbarek and Paul Motian on recordings that established his reputation and made him an influential force.
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