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Joey Baron: Just Listen

A compelling case can be made for guitarist Bill Frisell as the most desirable duet partner in jazz-and for Joey Baron, now that Paul Motian has passed, as the most empathetic drummer to engage him. Having appeared on a dozen of each other’s records over the past 25 years, as well as sharing membership in John Zorn’s Naked City and a handful of other bands, Frisell and Baron performed as a duo in Bonn, Germany, in November 2008, at an event called the Forum Bundeskunsthalle. Just Listen documents that gig.

As you’d expect, Frisell comfortably plunges into genres ranging from back-porch country to spazzed-out electronica to free improvisation, although most of the best moments bear the kinetics of jazz-rock fusion. The guitarist can be a reliably stimulating colorist whether leading or responding, but on Just Listen he initiates most of the action.

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