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Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Epistrophy (ECM)

Can devotees of guitarist Bill Frisell listen to Epistrophy without connecting a lot of dots? Not likely. Recorded live at Manhattan’s Village Vanguard and prominently featuring bassist Thomas Morgan, these intuitive duets resonate with the signature elements of Frisell’s uncommon discography: the borderless repertoire, the sparse yet inimitable arrangements, the deliberate consideration given to tone, … Read More “Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Epistrophy (ECM)”

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Andrew Cyrille: Lebroba (ECM)

It is profoundly satisfying to hear drummer Andrew Cyrille—who helped shepherd the tornado of Cecil Taylor through Unit Structures, among many others, more than 50 years ago—now in regal equipoise with a pair of esteemed elder peers, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and guitarist Bill Frisell. Lebroba relaxes you like a landscape painting, allowing your senses to … Read More “Andrew Cyrille: Lebroba (ECM)”

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Cuong Vu 4Tet: Change in the Air (RareNoise)

The bracing RareNoise debut from trumpeter Cuong Vu’s 4Tet—2017’s Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs—played up a blended dynamism leavened by respect for its honoree. This followup, built around original contributions from within the ranks, has more to do with self-sufficiency fostering the oneness of four. By inviting the project’s musical stakeholders to essentially act … Read More “Cuong Vu 4Tet: Change in the Air (RareNoise)”

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Live Review: Bill Frisell Guitar Invitational in New York

“These are all my teachers up here,” Bill Frisell said on Thursday night (June 21) at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. He was referring to four of his fellow guitarists—Brandon Ross, Matt Munisteri, Julian Lage, and Marvin Sewell—who share his reverent yet open-ended attitude toward the jazz-guitar tradition, and who’d joined him for … Read More “Live Review: Bill Frisell Guitar Invitational in New York”

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Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Small Town (ECM)

Although he’s collaborated with dozens of diverse artists throughout his career, guitarist Bill Frisell is still somewhat picky about whom he chooses to work with. He requires a rapport that is both simpatico and challenging—no sense playing with someone unless they’re going to take him someplace new. He’s one of the most adaptable, open-minded musicians … Read More “Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Small Town (ECM)”

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Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!

Guitar in the Space Age! marks giant steps backward and forward in time for guitarist Bill Frisell. On one hand, it’s a celebration of the improbable rise of the electric guitar-particularly the models made by Fender-during the ’50s and ’60s. But more important, it represents a terrific leap of imagination, offering fresh takes on signature … Read More “Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!”

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