Live In San Francisco, CA - March 16th, 2007

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Live In San Francisco, CA
March 16th, 2007

Bill Frisell - guitar (solo performance)

Series #002


Song List:

01 A Change Is Gonna Come
02 Crepuscule With Nellie
03 Misterioso
04 Improvisation #1
05 Hard Times
06 My Man's Gone Now
07 Masters Of War
08 A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
09 Evidence
10 Improvisation #2 into I left My Heart In San Francisco
11 Ventura

total running time: 1:17:33

All songs written by Bill Frisell except: A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke), Crepuscule With Nellie, Misterioso and Evidence (T. Monk), Hard Times (Stephen Foster), My Man's Gone Now (George Gershwin), Masters of War and A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan), I Left My Heart In San Francisco (George Cory & Douglass Cross) and Ventura (Lucinda Williams)

Recorded by Claudia Engelhart at Grace Cathedral 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

Recorded at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the second installment of Frisell's Download Series presents the guitarist at his most intimate...and most vulnerable. By 2007, Frisell had honed his ability to self-accompany with looping to such a sophisticated extent that it's hard to believe there's only one guitarist delivering a subtle but attention-grabbing version of Curtis Mayfield's classic, "A Change is Gonna Come." Frisell's remarkable patience allows the song's form to evolve slowly, almost inevitably, with his warm tone—expanded by plenty of reverb—making even the moments where he is playing without loops rich and room-filling, even at low volumes.

Since Frisell released the award-winning Nashville—an album that drew no small line in the sand for the guitarist, as he seemed to desert the more angular direction of his previous albums in favor of eminently lyrical and structurally simplified Americana (there is, however, often far more to his seemingly simple music than meets the eye). Frisell comes under fire, periodically, for "deserting jazz," even though it would have been impossible to record an album like Nashville without the broader vernacular he'd developed from his earliest days, with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bassist Arild Andersen. He continues to pay tribute to personal favorites, like pianist Thelonious Monk , on albums like Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian, and here he delivers a solo version of "Crepuscule With Nellie" that's homage in its wry edge, but all Frisell in its chocolaty-rich warmth. There are no loops here; just Frisell with no shortage of reverb to fatten up the sound, managing a remarkable feat of self-accompaniment, largely through implication. Frisell similarly turns Monk's "Evidence" into a surprising mélange of dense voicings and languid single-note phrases, later in the set.

 Frisell returns to Dylan with a medley that combines a bluesier acoustic version of "Masters of War," bringing a different kind of energy to this protest song, and an initially atmospheric take on "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," underscored by an ethereal acoustic loop and a drop-D tuning that gives it a hint of Celtic flavor, before finding its way to the familiar melody. Frisell also turns to Stephen Foster for a look at "Hard Times," first recorded by the guitarist on the rather unexpected Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones (Nonesuch, 2001); unexpected because, rather than being the hard-swinging jazz session most were anticipating—Jones inspiring the guitarist to deliver his first "jazz" record in five years—it, instead, drew the legendary bassist and drummer into Frisell's sound world. Clearly an especially good night for Frisell, this solo performance dovetails nicely with the more recently released DVD, Solos (Original Spin, 2010). - John Kelman - All About Jazz

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