On the 'tube

Quality Time with Bill


Frisell...one of my favorite musicians, here in a leisurely session from July 3, in what looks like a small multi-purpose shelter in a local park.



One of my favorite pickers. I love what he does with a beautiful melody.


Good old Uncle Bill. I was listening to Monk all weekend so really enjoyed that little jaunt into Monkland. He has such a magic touch.


Always enjoy his playing.


Bill's playing is the antithesis of the fast bebop that informs the majority of jazz guitarists. He's a true improviser, with the melody of whatever tune he's playing as the main point of reference. The line from Jim Hall's early playing is clear, but there are also conceptional references, in terms of how he approaches the guitar, back to Jimmy Wilby and George Van Eps. Also, Monks 'intervallic' approach is a major component of his playing.

I don't mean to put him in a box by these observances; there is of course the personality, humor, courage, and general humanity that comes through his playing; one of my favorite musicians who is fortunately still with us. It's nice to see artists out and about doing gigs again. Thanks for posting.


I don't mean to put him in a box by these observances; there is of course the personality, humor, courage, and general humanity that comes through his playing;

This is pretty much it. Very well put, Journeyman.


While the two sound nothing alike, there are a lot of parallels with Jeff Beck. Both masterfully use space to frame and counterpoint gorgeous melodic invention. Both deploy equal parts wit, quirk, humor, misdirection, inevitability, and compassion in both melodic line and harmonic complexity (or simplicity, as suits the moment).

Neither shies away from the occasional noble, stately, and even profound cadence or motif. Both employ a wide seamless and fluid range of gain and tonal shading; both seem to have an infinite variety of ways to attack and articulate a note. And both have immaculate timing and phrasing.

It struck me during this gig that Frisell often builds and unifies pieces with rhythmic motifs, sometimes distinct from the melodies riding on them. Beck is more apt to combine consistent melodic and rhythmic figures, developing themes with intervallic parallels.

And while Beck is more apt than Frisell to incorporate the relentless forward motion of rock, in his slower and more reflective pieces, he gets to the same sense of stillness which Frisell often occupies.

Beck comes to those moments between long restless quests - maybe to earn and deserve them - while Frisell dwells in that stillness, even at his most driving.

Like Beck is always yearning, and Frisell always placid and content.

I’d love to hear them do a project together.


just for clarity...(and a tip to those that might not know about him)...but i believe journeyman was alluding to the great jimmy wyble in his post above..mentioned alongside van eps!

wyble was a wonderful player...he played with bob wills texas swing band but was also a pure jazzer at heart

here's a fun film clip of jw in the wills band-

and here's a later wyble clip from shortly before he passed...and you can definitely hear the frisell correspondences...plus he shows his lovely hofner guitar



Bill Frisell is cool! And I like the fact that he's not afraid to play "non-standard" guitar for jazz.


I had the pleasure of seeing Bill in London back in normal times two years ago after also seeing him in New York , he is the journeyman of guitar, takes you on a wonderful sonic and musical road trip each time and its different, I get the same when listening and seeing Pat Matheny.

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