Live In San Francisco, CA - February 5th, 2005 Set 2

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Live In San Francisco, CA
February 5th, 2005
Set 2

Bill Frisell - guitar
Hank Roberts - cello
Jenny Scheinman - violin
Eyvind Kang - viola

Series #003


Song List:

01 Hymn For Ginsberg
02 Pretty Polly
03 Baba Drame
04 858-5
05 858-6
06 858-7
07 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
08 What's Going On
09 Cluck Old Hen

BONUS TRACK: from set 1
10 What The World Needs Now

total running time: 1:27:39

All songs written by Bill Frisell except Pretty Polly and Cluck Old Hen (traditional), Baba Drame (Boubacar Traore), I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams), What's Going On (Marvin Gaye), and What the World Needs Now (Burt Bacharach)

Recorded by Claudia Engelhart at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco, CA
Frisell Archivist: Martin Lane
Produced by Adam Blomberg

A Songline / Tone Field Production



All About Jazz
January 26, 2011
By John Kelman

While Frisell's 858 Quartet—a conventional classical string quartet where Frisell breaks convention by taking the place of one of it's two violinists—released the surprising Richter 858  (Songlines), in 2005, there were precious few opportunities for most fans to hear the group in performance. Richter 858 was surprising because, amidst all the guitarist's easier-on-the-ears Americana of the time, he proved, with this recording of music inspired by the artwork of Gerhard Richter—originally released in limited form in 2002 in a hardback book of Richter's art, but given more general release as a CD by Songlines Recordings three years later—that he'd not lost any of his edge. It's all too easy to accuse artists of deserting this or losing that when, in actual fact, they're simply making decisions about what they choose to do and not do at a given moment in time; something more readily apparent when looking back at an artist's overall body of work, years later.

This live 858 Quartet performance, also featuring Scheinman, Roberts and violist Eyvind Kang, includes some of the album's more jagged music in its medley of "858-5" through "7," and writing chops equally on form. The quartet also demonstrates the nuanced approach heard in more recent performances like its 2010 show at the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival, where the music was sometimes so quiet, it almost demanded leaning forward to hear it. Live Download Series #001 may not have included material from Unspeakable, but here the quartet—a fundamental textural participant on that record—opens with the melancholy "Hymn for Ginsberg," one of Frisell's most painfully vulnerable pieces of music to date.

The set also includes its share of covers; by this time, Frisell had become known for finding specific pieces of music that moved him, and exploring them in a wide range of contexts. Here, "Babe Drame," from the previous year's Grammy-nominated The Intercontinentals (Nonesuch), receives a more delicate treatment, while a 16-minute version of Marvin Gaye's hit, "What's Going On," becomes grist for a quartet that orbits around its core, hovering during the long, cue-driven intro to surely one of the most unusual interpretations ever heard of this R&B hit. - John Kelman - All About Jazz


For the complete Download Series review visit All About Jazz here.