From: matt@volga.Berkeley.EDU (Matt Wright)
Subject: Bill Frisell Discography
Summary: Everything Frisell has ever recorded --- long!
Organization: University of California, at Berkeley
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1993 06:52:02 GMT
As promised some weeks ago, here's my (hopefully) definitive Bill Frisell
discography. I would *love* feedback on it; if there are any substantive
changes I'll correct it and post a new version in the future.
As per Bill Hery's request, please don't post little factual corrections or
additions to the newsgroup; just mail them to me and I'll fix them. (But I
hope some of my comments on the recordings might start some interesting
The "complete" Bill Frisell discography
by Matt Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This discography is divided into 5 sections:
1) Albums with Bill Frisell as a leader
2) Bill Frisell as a sideman, Jazz and Experimental (I'm not going
to draw the line between the two.)
3) Bill Frisell as a sideman, Rock/Pop (Something of a judgement call
in some cases.)
4) Compilation albums with only one or at most a few cuts by Frisell
5) Albums I've never seen but are said to exist
Each entry in this discography has the following format:
, " ", ,
will indicate the date of the recording; otherwise it
will be copyright date. will refer to the CD version
unless otherwise indicated. Listings of musicians will indicate the number
of cuts that they appear on, if it's not the whole album. On albums with
Frisell as a sideman, I'll indicate if any of the tunes are his
compositions. Comments are all my own, and biased; your mileage may vary.
If you discover any errors or omissions, please send me mail and I'll fix
the list. Also, I'll be happy to hear people's reactions to my comments.
Section 1: Bill Frisell as a leader
(This section is arranged chronologically.)
Bill Frisell, "In Line", ECM 1241, rec. August 1982
Bill Frisell (electric and acoustic guitars), Arild Anderson (bass - 5 cuts).
This is early, with the "ECM sound": reverberant, lush, quiet, slow,
beautiful. Great compositions.
Bill Frisell, "Rambler", ECM 1287, rec. August 1984
Bill Frisell (guitar, guitar synthesizer), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, cornet,
and fluegelhorn), Bob Stewart (tuba), Jerome Harris (electric bass), and
Paul Motian (drums).
Still Bill's early ECM sound, but more lively. The brass adds more color
than the first album.
Bill Frisell and Vernon Reid, "Smash and Scatteration", rec Dec. 1984,
Rykodisc RCD 10006.
Bill Frisell and Vernon Reid (electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synth,
banjos, and drum programming)
Yes, the Vernon Reid from Living Color. Great guitar improvisations, but
the cheesy no-reverb drum machines, badly programmed by Frisell and Reid,
mar the album for me.
Bill Frisell, "Works", ECM 837 273-2
Contains tracks from "In Line", "Rambler", Paul Bley's "Fragments", Marc
Johnson's "Bass Desires", and Paul Motian's "It Should Have Happened a Long
Time Ago" and "Psalm".
This is an ECM "greatest hits" album of Frisell's work. It's heavy on the
atmospheric, slow, ECMish tunes. In my opinion, it contains in many cases
the weakest cut from various albums.
The Bill Frisell Band, "Lookout For Hope", ECM 1350, rec. March 1987
Bill Frisell (electric and acoustic guitars, banjo), Hank Roberts (cello and
voice), Kermit Driscoll (bass), and Joey Baron (drums).
One of my favorite Frisell albums. Combines his "beautiful" ECM sound with
more experimental and energetic music.
Bill Frisell, "Before We Were Born", Elektra/Musician 9 60843-2, Rec. Aug 88
The Bill Frisell Band (see above), Arto Lindsay (guitar and vocals - 3
cuts), Peter Scherer (keyboards and drum programming - 3 cuts), Julius
Hemphill (alto Sax - 4 cuts), Billy Drewes (alto Sax - 4 Cuts), Doug
Wieselman (bari Sax - 4 cuts), and Cyro Baptista (shaker - 1 cut).
Contains the 13 minute Zorn-arranged "Hard Plains Drifter", and other
great tracks. Lots of energy. "Steady, Girl" is a remake of "Throughout"
from "In Line", but with Arto Lindsay singing. I like this a lot.
Bill Frisell, "Is That You?", Elektra/Musician 9 60956-2, Rec. August 1989.
Bill Frisell (guitars, bass, banjo, ukulele, clarinet), Wayne Horvitz
(keyboards, drum programming, "momentary bass"), Joey Baron (drums), Dave
Hofstra (tuba - 1 cut, and bass - 1 cut).
A good album, but it feels a little unfocused to me. Some cuts have more
groove than melody; perhaps it's Horvitz's touch as a producer. Some of the
tracks feel a little empty; perhaps its the lack of a bass, or because they
did lots of multitracking instead of a band playing in the studio. The
slower tunes, especially the solo guitar work, are much better.
The Bill Frisell Band, "Where in the World?", Elektra/Musician 61181-2, Rec
October 1990 and February 1991.
The Bill Frisell Band (see above, but Bill plays guitars and ukulele)
Fantastic. To me this album is both directly appealing the first time you
hear it, as well as deep and complex enough to reward repeated listenings.
Lots of tunes sound normalish on the surface but are actually sort of creepy
deep down inside. Maybe his best album.
Bill Frisell, "Have A Little Faith", Elektra/Nonesuch 9 79301-2, rec 3/92
Bill Frisell (guitar), Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet), Guy Klucevsek
(accordion), Kermit Driscoll (bass), Joey Baron (drums).
I *love* this album. It's all "covers"---Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid",
Charles Ives, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Madonna, Sonny Rollins, J.P. Sousa,
and more. It has a fantastic live feel; they really sound like a band
playing together. A lot of these pieces are ones that Frisell has played a
lot in concert a lot with Driscoll and Baron and sometimes Byron; I think
playing them live a lot really helped the feel when they recorded them in
the studio. Buy it!
Section 2: Bill Frisell as a sideman, Jazz and Experimental
(This section is arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically within
Arild Andersen, "A Moulde Concert", ECM 1236, rec. August 1981 (vinyl only)
Arild Andersen (bass), John Taylor (piano), Bill Frisell (guitar), Alphonse
A great album! They're all great musicians, and they really swing.
Recorded live in concert. Lots of solos by Frisell.
Chet Baker - Steve Houben [no title], "52e Rue Est" RECD 019, Rec. 1980
Chet Baker (vocals and trumpet), Steve Houben (alto sax), "Bill Frisel
[sic]" (guitar), Dennis Luxion (piano), Kermit Driscoll (bass), Bruno
Totally not a Bill Frisell album. Frisell solos twice, competently, in
generic jazz guitar style. Even his comping is secondary to the piano. For
completists (or Chet Baker fans) only.
Tim Berne and Bill Frisell, "Theoretically", Minor Music 008 (035021) (vinyl
w/ Tim Berne (alto sax, I assume)
I don't have this album, because I've never been able to find it.
Tim Berne, "Fulton Street Maul", Columbia CK 40530, rec. 8/10-14/86
Tim Berne (alto sax), Hank Roberts (cello and voice), Bill Frisell (electric
guitar), Alex Cline (percussion, voice).
High energy, frenetic, outside music, with lots of activity. Very rocking.
The Paul Bley Quartet, "Fragments", ECM 1320 (829 280-2), rec Jan 1986
Paul Bley (piano), John Surman (soprano sax, bass clarinet), Paul Motian
Moody and intense. ECMish. Contains Frisell's tune "Monica Jane". Mostly
very slow tunes.
The Paul Bley Quartet, [no title] ECM 1365 (835 250-2), rec. November 1987
(same musicians as above)
Moodier and intenser than the first, but features Frisell quite a bit,
including some very energetic fuzz-box solos. Contains Frisell's tune
Gavin Bryars, "After the Requiem", ECM 1424 (847 537-2), rec. Sept. 1990
First piece: Bill Frisell (electric guitar), Alexander Balanescu and Kater
Musker (viola), and Tony Hinnigan (cello). Second and fourth pieces:
Alexander Balanescu (violin), Roger Heaton (bass clarinet), Dave Smith
(tenor horn, piano), Gavin Bryars (bass), Martin Allen and Simon Limbrick
(percussion), and Bill Frisell (electric guitar). Third piece: Evan Parker
and Stan Sulzmann (soprano sax), Ray Warleigh (alto sax), and Julian
Arguelles (bari sax).
Four pieces, each 15-20 minutes and entirely composed (i.e., not
improvised). This is heavily classically influenced music, very demanding,
and very emotionally intense. The first piece, for Frisell, two violas, and
cello, is amazing.
Don Byron, "Tuskegee Experiments", Elektra/Musician 9 79280-2, rec. Nov 1990
Don Byron (clarinet and bass clarinet), Bill Frisell (guitar - 4 cuts),
Lonnie Plaxico (bass - 4 cuts), Ralph Peterson, Jr. (drums - 4 cuts), Reggie
Workman (bass - 2 cuts), Edsel Gomez (piano - 2 cuts), Greta Buck (violin -
1 cut), Pheeroan akLaff (drums - 2 cuts), Joe Berkovitz (piano - 2 cuts),
Richie Schwarz (marimba - 1 cut), Kenny Davis (electric bass - 1 cut), Sadiq
(poet/vocals - 1 cut)
Amazing stuff. Very swinging combos with intense tunes. A couple of
great solos by Bill.
Jan Garbarek, "Paths, Prints", ECM 1223 (829 377-2), rec. Dec 1981
Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano saxes, wood flutes), Bill Frisell (guitar),
Eberhard Weber (bass), John Christensen (drums, percussion).
*Very* ECMish. Slow, atmospheric, slightly amorphous. Lots of ringing
guitar ambience. Sort of new-age.
Jan Garbarek Group, "Wayfarer", ECM 1259, (811 968-2), Rec March 1983
(same musicians as above)
Simliar to "Paths, Prints", but more intense and focused. I like it better.
The Mike Gibbs Orchestra, "Big Music", Virgin Records CDVE 27, copyright 88.
Bob Moses, Bill Martin, and Ben Wittman (drums and drum programming), Kai
Eckhardt (bass guitar), Duke Levine and Dave Fiuczynski (rhythm guitar),
John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Kevin Eubanks (guitar), Brad Hatfield and
Dave Bristow (keyboards), Jim Odgren, Chris Hunter, Lou Marini, Bob Mintzer,
Dave Tofani (reeds), Lew Soloff, Allan Rubin, Earl Gardner, Ian Carr
(trumpet), John Clark (French horn), Dave Bargeron and David Taylor
(trombones), Mike Gibbs (trombone and piano).
Geez, enough talent for 4 albums. High-energy fusion. To me, it's light on
material and heavy on arrangement. A little too "bitchin'" for my tastes.
One tune, "Pride Aside", features Frisell.
Jerry Granelli, "A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing", ITM Pacific 970066,
recorded Feb. 92.
Jerry Granelli (drums), Kenny Garrett (alto sax), Julian Priester
(trombone), Bill Frisell (guitar, banjo), Robben Ford (guitar), Anthony Cox
(bass), J. Granelli (electric bass - 4 cuts), Denny Goodhew (soprano sax - 1
I like this album. Mostly blues, played interestingly. Really good
musicians, with lots of great soloing (including a number by Frisell). Also,
I like the contrast of Frisell's and Robben Ford's guitar playing.
The Gunter Hampel New York Orchestra, "Fresh Heat---Live at Sweet Basil",
Birth Records 0039, rec. 2/4/85 10pm-2am. Vinyl only.
Stephen Haynes and Vance R. Provey (trumpets), Curtis Fowlkes and Ceta
(trombone), Bob Stewart (tuba), Perry Robinson (clarinet), Mark Whitecage
and Thomas Keyserling (alto sax and flute), Bob Hanlon (tenor sax and
flute), Lucky Ennett (tenor sax), Gunter Hampel (vibes, bari sax, flute,
composer and arranger), Jeanne Lee and Art Jenkins (voice), Bill Frisell
(guitar), Kyoto Fujiwara (bass), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums).
High-energy, up, swinging, outside big-bandish music. Frisell takes a turn
when they play fours in the second tune but otherwise you can't hear him. I
like this album a lot, though; great live feel.
Billy Hart, "Oshumare", Gramavision 18-8502-2, rec. 1985
Jabali Billy Hart (drums), Dave Holland (bass), Branford Marsalis (tenor
sax), Steve Coleman (alto sax), Bill Frisell (electric guitar), Kenny
Kirkland (keyboards), Mark Grey (keyboards), Didier Lockwood (violin).
Peppy, but also some substance. Lots of chops. I like this album. One
composition, "Waiting Inside", by Frisell.
Billy Hart, "Rah", Gramavision 18-8802-2, rec. Sept 1987
Dave Liebman (soprano sax), Caris Visentin (oboe), Eddie Henderson
(fluegelhorn), Ralph Moore (tenor sax), Kevin Eubanks (guitar), Bill Frisell
(guitar), Mark Grey (synthesizer), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Eddie Gomez
(bass), Buster Williams (bass), Billy Hart (Drums).
A lot like "Oshumare". A little deeper, maybe. Two tunes, "Breakup" and
"Reminder", by Frisell.
Julius Hemphill, "Big Band", Elektra/Musician 9 60831-2, rec. Feb. 1988
Julius Hemphill, Marty Ehrlich, J.D. Parran, John Purcell, and John
Stubblefield (reeds), David Hines and Rasul Siddik (trumpet), Frank Lacy and
David Taylor (trombones), Vincent Chancey and John Clark (French horn), Jack
Wilkins and Bill Frisell (guitar), Jerome Harris (electric bass), Ronnie
Burrage (drums), Gordon Gottlieb (percussion).
Outside big band music. Very energetic and amazing. Frisell solos twice.
Horvitz/Morris/Previte, "Todos Santos", Sound Aspects CD 019, rec. Jan 1988
Six tracks are Wayne Horvitz (acoustic and amplified piano, DX-7), Butch
Morris (cornet), and Robert Previte (drums, DX-7, drum-machine, and
marimba). The other three are Doug Wieselman (Tenor sax, Clarinet) and Bill
An album of Robin Holcomb compositions, but not played by her. Mostly quiet
and contemplative, and mostly non-improvised, I think. It's an interesting
blend of folk and jazz; chord progressions seem to drift strangely, but then
come back to a solid tonal base. Very noisy recording, even on CD; I find
that listening to it on headphones is too distracting.
Wayne Horvitz, "This New Generation", Elektra/Musician 9 60759-2, rec. 9/85
Wayne Horvitz (keyboards, drum programming, harmonica), Chris Brown
(gazamba, wing - 4 cuts), Bill Frisell (guitar - 3 cuts), Dave Hofstra
(bass, tuba - 4 cuts (same 3 as Frisell)), Joey Peters (electronic drums - 2
cuts), Bobby Previte (drums, drum programming, keyboards - 3 cuts (same 3 as
Frisell)), Elliot Sharp (guitars, bass - 4 cuts), Doug Wieselman (clarinet,
tenor sax, rhythm guitar - 8 cuts (same 3 as Frisell)), Robin Holcomb
(keyboards - 1 cut), Jim Mussen (emulator drums operation - 2 cuts), Nica
(vocals - 1 cut), Jon Rose (unintentional cello - 1 cut).
"All selections are previously available on the recording _Dinner_at_Eight_,
except [four cuts] from _The_President_". The four cuts from
_The_President_ are awesome; the other eleven are quite weak---thin DX-7
ostinatos and uninteresting melodic lines in the saxophone, with lots of bad
Wayne Horvitz, "The President", ???
I only know about this from the liner notes to "This New Generation".
Wayne Horvitz---The President, "Miracle Mile", Elektra Nonesuch 9 79278-2,
Wayne Horvitz (keyboards, amplified piano, harmonica), Stew Cutler (guitar),
J.A. Deane (trombine, electronics), Kermit Driscoll (electric bass), Bobby
Previte (drums), Doug Wieselman (tenor sax, clarinet). "Additional
Musicians:" Bill Frisell (guitar), Denny Goodhew (saxes), Elliot Sharp
(guitar), Ben Steele (guitar controlled sampler).
I can barely hear Frisell in the background of track 3 for a few seconds.
This suffers from some of the same problems as the non-Frisell tracks on
"This New Generation", but to a much lesser extent. (The drum machine
problem is gone, thanks to Previte's great live drumming.)
Marc Johnson, "Bass Desires", ECM 1299 (827 743-2), rec. May 1985
Marc Johnson (bass), Bill Frisell (guitar, guitar synth), John Scofield
(guitar), Peter Erskine (drums).
Amazing talent, and a very good record. The first two tracks, including
Coltrane's "Resolution" from "A Love Supreme" are excellent and highly
charged; I wish the rest of the album were a little more upbeat. I love
Frisell's comping to Scofield's solos, and his guitar synth solo on
"Resolution" is outstanding.
Marc Johnson's Bass Desires, "Second Sight", ECM 1351 (833 038-2), rec 5/87
(same cast as above, but no guitar synth for Frisell)
Similar to the first album. Two tunes by Frisell. The first piece seems a
little disjointed. The two Scofield tunes are quite good, including the
surfy "Twister". This album has a "contented" quality that's hard for me to
Henry Kaiser, "Re-Marrying for Money", SST Records CD 222, rec. 11-21-85
Henry Kaiser (electric guitar), Hilary Hanes (bass), John Hanes (drums).
"Special guest guitarists" (one track each): John Abercrombie, Bruce
Anderson, Bill Frisell, Amos Garrett, Fred Marshall, Glenn Phillips.
"This album has been previously issued, with much less material, on the
German Minor Music label as _Marrying_For_Money_." Only one track with
Frisell, but it's 16:28 long. It's a live improvised duet, "the first time
that my friend Bill Frisell and I played together," pretty outside. The
rest of the album is heavy rock-oriented, with lots of guitar sound.
Joe Lovano Wind Ensemble, "Worlds", Label Bleu LBLC 6524 HM 83, rec 5/5/89
Joe Lovano (tenor and soprano saxes, clarinet), Bill Frisell (guitar), Tim
Hagans (trumpet), Paul Motian (drums), Judi Silverman (soprano voice), Henri
Texier (bass), Gary Valente (trombone).
This was recorded live in concert. Very intense compositions, and lots of
virtuosic playing. Extended solos, frequently accompanied by only one or
two other musicians, and frequently two players soloing as a duet. Very
horn-like singing from Judi Silverman, soloing like a soprano sax. I like
this album a lot.
Lyle Mays [self-titled], Geffen 9 24097-2, rec. 1985
Lyle Mays (piano, synths, autoharp), Alejandro N. Acu~na (drums), Billy
Drewes (alto and soprano sax), Bill Frisell (guitar), Marc Johnson (acoustic
bass), Nana Vasconcelos (percussion).
A little lite for my tastes. Everything to me is either over-poppy or
amorphous. Not much soloing by Frisell, and not great material, IMHO.
Lyle Mays, "Street Dreams", Geffen 9 24204-2, copyright 1988
Lyle Mays (piano, keyboards). "Featuring" Bill Frisell (guitar - 7 cuts),
Marc Johnson (acoustic bass - 7 cuts), Steve Rodby (electric bass - 2 cuts),
Peter Erskine (drums - 5 cuts), Steve Gadd (drums - 2 cuts), Steve Jordan
(drums - 1 cut), Vicki Randele (percussion, "vocorder [sic]", voice - 6 cuts).
Also a host of studio horn players (Bob Mintzer: "contractor", whatever that
means) and a chamber orchestra.
Same as above. Definite fluff.
Sato Michihiro, "Rodan", Hat Art CD 6015, rec April 11-16, 1988
Sato Michihiro (tsugaru shamisen on all tracks), Bill Frisell (guitar - 5
cuts), Fred Frith (guitar - 6 cuts), Tenko (voice - 3 cuts), Mark Miller
(bass - 2), Nicolas Collins (electronics - 4 cuts), Christian Marclay
(turntables - 4 cuts), Steve Colemann (alto sax - 2 cuts), Toh Ban Djan
(Ikue Mori (drums, drum machine) and Luli Shioi (bass, voice) - 1 cut),
Semantics (Elliott Sharp (double neck guitar/bass), Samm Bennett (drums),
Ned Rothenberg (alto sax) - 1 cut), Tom Cora (cello - 1 cut), Joey Baron
(drums - 1 cut), Mark Dresser (bass - 2 cuts), Gerry Hemingway (drums - 1
Zorn-produced experimental improvised shamisen music. What else can I say?
(Alphabetized under Mingus:) "Hal Willner Presents Weird Nightmare:
Meditations on Mingus", Columbia CK 52739, copyright 1992
A house band of Don Alias (percussion), Bill Frisell (guitar), Michael Blair
(drums), Greg Cohen (bass), Don Byron (clarinet), Art Baron (trombone), and
Francis Thumm (Partch instruments), and guest musicians too numerous to
mention, including Bobby Previte, Henry Threadgill, Marc Ribot, Elvis
Costello, Vernon Reid, Geri Allen, Henry Rollins, Chuck D (from Public
Enemy), Keith Richards, Diamanda Galas, Robert Quine, Ray Davies, and Doctor
An album of Mingus covers. Most pieces have a few parts for "Partch
instruments", strange musical instruments invented by the American composer
Henry Partch. There was a big thread about this album a while ago, and
everybody seemed to hate it, except the part where Chuck D raps over
Frisell's guitar solo. This album is dark and contemplative, and sort of
clever, which I think is great, but everybody else thinks it's not true to
the spirit of Mingus. In any case, it features lots of Frisell.
Bob Moses, "When Elephants Dream Of Music", Gramavision GR8203, rec.
4/11-12/82. Vinyl only.
Joe Bonadio (percussion), Marion Cowings (voice - 2 cuts), Ayieb Dieng
(percussion), Michael Formanek (acoustic bass), David Friedman (vibes,
marimba), Bill Frisell (electric guitar), David Gross (alto sax), Doc
Halliday (tenor and soprano sax), Terumasa Hino (cornet), Howard Johnson
(electric contrabass clarinet, tuba), Shelia Jordan (voice - 1 cut), Jeanne
Lee (voice - 1 cut), Jahnet Levatin (voice - 1 cut), Lyle Mays
(synthesizers), Rahboat Ntumba Moses (drums, humdrums, voice), Jim Pepper
(tenor sax), Paula Potocki (voice - 1 cut), Barry Rogers (trombones), Chris
Rogers (trumpet), Paul Socolow (electric bass - 1 cut), Jeremy Steig (bass
flute - 1 cut), Steve Swallow (electric bass), Nana Vasconcelos (percussion,
voice), Bob Weiner (drums - 1 cut), Toni Wilson (voice - 1 cut).
Big and free, but swinging. A loose sound, with lots of collective
improvisation. I like this album a lot, although there's not much Frisell.
Bob Moses, "Visit With The Great Spirit", Gramavision GR8307, rec 1983.
Tiger Okoshi (trumpet, flugelhorn, electric trumpet), Bob Mintzer (tenor
sax, electric bass clarinet), David Liebman (soprano sax - 4 cuts), George
Garzone (soprano sax, tenor sax - 4 cuts), David Gross (alto sax, flute - 5
cuts), Howard Johnson (bari sax, tuba, electric contrabass clarinet), Tony
Coe (tenor sax), John D'earth (electric trumpet - 2 cuts), David Sanborn
(alto sax - 1 cut), Michael Gibbs (trombone - 2 cuts), Jerome Harris
(electric bass, guitar), Lincoln Goines (electric bass - 3 cuts), Steve
Swallow (electric bass - 1 cut), Eddie Gomez (bass - 1 cut), Steve Kuhn
(piano - 2 cuts), Delfmar Brown (synthesizer - 1 cut), Cliff Korman
(synthesizer - 1 cut), Bill Frisell (guitar - 4 cuts), John Scofield (guitar
- 1 cut), Manoel Manteiro (surdo, repinique, berimbau, cuica, tamborim,
misc. percussion, voice - 4 cuts), Bill Martin (snare drum, talking drum,
ganza, go go bell, tamborim, misc. percussion - 4 cuts), Claudio Silva
(pandeiro, surdo, go go bell, voice - 3 cuts), Ron De Francesco and Jahnet
Levatin (misc percussion - 1 cut), Danny Gottlieb (gong), Hiroshi Hieda,
Rayko Shiota and Kyoko Baker (voice), Rahboat Moses (drums, repinique,
timbales, talking drums, hum drums, cuica, voice, wood flute, synthesizer).
Similar to "When Elephants Dream of Music". I haven't heard it in a while
(my record player broke...) so I can't really comment on it.
Paul Motian Band, "Psalm", ECM 1222 (847 330-2), rec. December 1981
Paul Motian (drums), Bill Frisell (guitar), Ed Schuller (bass), Joe Lovano
(tenor sax), Billy Drewes (tenor and alto sax).
ECMish, i.e., slow, ambient, and timbrally beautiful. This album is also
surprisingly energetic and focused for early ECM. Motian's drumming is, as
always, as much about color as about timekeeping.
Paul Motian, "The Story of Maryam", Soul Note 1074, rec. July 83
Jim Pepper (tenor and soprano sax), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Bill Frisell
(electric guitar), Ed Schuller (bass), Paul Motian (drums)
Very similar to "Psalm", perhaps a little less atmospheric and a little more
Paul Motian Quintet, "Jack Of Clubs", Soul Note 121124-2, rec 3/26-28/84
(same musicians as above)
Again, similar to previous Paul Motian albums. A little more outside in
spots, especially the "duet" solos like just the two saxes, or just guitar
Paul Motian Trio, "It Should Have Happened a Long Time Ago", ECM 1283, rec.
Paul Motian (drums, percussion), Bill Frisell (guitar, guitar synthesizer),
Joe Lovano (tenor sax).
These three guys made about a million albums together. All are very loose
rhythmically and very colorful, with fantastic interaction between the three.
The lack of a bass player is a major asset---it makes the form and rhythm
much more free and makes it easier for the three musicians to interact.
Paul Motian Quintet, "Misterioso", Soul Note 121174-2, rec. 7/14-16/86
(same musicians as "Jack of Clubs")
Similar again to previous albums. Rhythmically, the tunes are a little more
obvious---more swing and less wash of sound, which makes the album feel
somewhat more straight-ahead to me.
Paul Motian Trio, "One Time Out", Soul Note 121 224-2, rec. 9/21-22/87
Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Bill Frisell (electric guitar), Paul Motian (drums)
More outside and more frenetic than "It Should Have Happened...", but with
its share of lush, loose, ambient tunes also.
Paul Motian, "On Broadway - Vol. 1", JMT 834 430-2, rec. November 1988
Paul Motian (drums), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Bill Frisell (electric guitar),
Charlie Haden (bass).
An album of standards from Broadway musicals, like "Liza", "Somewhere Over
The Rainbow", "They Didn't Believe Me", etc. I think it's fantastic. A lot
of the color and freedom of the Paul Motian Trio albums, but Haden's bass
gives the music a much more definite form and pulse. This album has a
laid-back, sort of "competent", feel, which I guess means that they all know
the tunes so well and are so comfortable with each other that they sound
like they're having a great time.
Paul Motian, "On Broadway - Vol. 2", JMT 834 440-2, rec. September 1989
(same musicians as above)
Same idea and same sound as volume 1; includes "I Got Rhythm", "All the
Things You Are", "Body and Soul". This album is generally slower and not so
swinging as volume 1, but more ambient and timbrally aware.
Paul Motian, "Bill Evans", JMT 834 445-2, rec. May 1990
(same musicians as above, but Marc Johnson instead of Charlie Haden on bass.)
Similar in concept to the "On Broadway" records, but it's all Bill Evans
compositions. The sound is also similar to the "On Broadway" albums, more
like the first than the second.
"Monk in Motian", JMT 834 421-2, rec March 1988.
Paul Motian (drums), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Bill Frisell (guitar), with
Dewey Redman (tenor sax - 2 cuts) and Geri Allen (piano - 2 cuts).
This one's all Monk compositions. The trio format gives things a little
more edge and a little freer form, which I think fits Monk's music well.
Contains a great version of "Straight, No Chaser."
Paul Motian, "On Broadway Vol. III", JMT 849 157-2, rec. 1991
Paul Motian (drums), Lee Konitz (soprano and alto sax), Joe Lovano (tenor
sax), Bill Frisell (guitar), Charlie Haden (bass)
Not available in the U.S. yet, so I don't have a copy.
email@example.com (Andrew Wyllie) says
"I don't have Vol I, but Vol. III is more upbeat than Vol. II. It features a
number of duets Frisell/Konitz, Konitz/Motian and Lovano/Konitz. Some of
the other tracks are really tight, lots of amazing playing. This is
probably my favourite Motian album, lots of fun."
"Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano with Paul Motian in Tokyo", JMT 834 430-2, rec.
March 28-29, 1991.
Recorded live in concert, and fantastic. All the usual Motian trio
qualities, and really masterfully done.
"Naked City", Elektra/Nonesuch 9 79238-2, copyright 1989
John Zorn (alto sax), Bill Frisell (guitar), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Fred
Frith (bass), Joey Baron (drums), "special guest" Yamatsuka Eye (vocals).
You gotta hear it to believe it. Incredible musicians playing incredibly
difficult music. The big thing is abrupt changes in style---3 seconds of
thrash guitar followed by 5 seconds of bebop, followed by 3 seconds of
reggae, etc. Very little improvisation, and within a very rigid structure.
It's very virtuosic, and I'm impressed, but I have to really be in the right
mood to listen to it or it's too intense. There's a little too much thrash
metal for my taste. My favorite cuts, "Latin Quarter", "N.Y. Flat Top Box",
"The James Bond Theme", and "Inside Straight" are all among the most inside
cuts on the album. Others love the middle 8 tracks, which are short, loud,
and very intense, featuring lots of screaming by Yamatsuka Eye. This is
probably a record that everybody should listen to, although not everybody
will want to buy it.
Naked City, "Torture Garden", Toy's Factory TFCK 99557, rec. 1989-1990
(same musicians as above)
No need to buy this album; all the cuts on it are either on the first album
or "Grand Guignol". Naked City at its fastest, loudest, and most intense.
42 pieces averaging 37 seconds each, including "Perfume of a Critic's
Burning Flesh", "Jazz Snob Eat Shit", "Pigfucker", "Victims of Torture", and
the classic "Gob of Spit".
Naked City, "Heretic: Jeux Des Dames Cruelles" (original motion picture
soundtrack), Avant 001, rec 1991.
(same musicians as above, but Yamatsuka Eye listed as a regular band member,
not a special guest.)
Except for one track, this is all duets and trios from the pool of six
members. (Frisell plays on 12 of 24 tracks.) Longer pieces than usual for
Naked City, without many style changes. More improvised and free; less
overwhelming. I like it.
Naked City, "Leng Tch'e", Toy's Factory TFCK 88604, rec 1/11/92 (?)
(same musicians as above)
A single 39 minute dirge-like piece. It starts with a sort of drone, and
builds in intensity. There's feedback by Frisell for nearly the whole piece.
Some have called it boring, which I can understand. It certainly lacks the
abrupt changes typical of the Naked City style. (And I find Eye's hysterics
to be a little comical if they last more than about 30 seconds.)
Naked City, "Grand Guignol", Avant 002, copyright 1992
(same musicians as "Heretic", but add "special guest vocalist" Bob Dorough
The title cut is a 19 minute piece, which goes from dirgelike to crazy
drumming. It's episodic, like "Spillane", but I can't quite understand the
plot. The next tracks are "covers" of classical music by Debussy,
Scriabin, Ives, and Messiaen, which I like a lot. Beautiful playing by
Frisell. It ends with about 40 "bonus tracks"---everything from "Torture
Garden" that wasn't on "Naked City".
Jim Pepper, "Comin' and Goin'", Antilles 7 90680, rec. 5/12/1983,
6/22/1983, 6/23/1983, 8/17/1983, vinyl only.
Jim Pepper (tenor sax, vocal chants), John Scofield (electric guitar - 4
cuts), Kenny Werner (piano - 5 cuts), Lester McFarland (electric bass - 5
cuts), Hamid Drake (drums - 4 cuts), Nana Vasconcelos (percussion, vocal
chants), Collin Walcott (tabla, sitar - 4 cuts), Don Cherry (trumpet - 1
cut), Mark Helias (acoustic bass - 3 cuts), Danny Gottlieb (drums - 3 cuts),
Caren Knight (lead vocal - 1 cut), Jane Lind (lead vocal - 1 cut), Bill
Frisell (guitar - 1 cut), Ed Schuller (acoustic bass - 1 cut)
I don't have this album and have never heard it.
Power Tools, "Strange Meeting", Antilles 7 90627-2, rec. 1/8-10/87
Bill Frisell (electric guitar), Melvin Gibbs (electric bass), Roland Shannon
Recorded live in the studio, and very rocking. All three play their butts
off. Fairly outside; they make a lot of noise. 3 tunes by Frisell, two of
which, "Strange Meeting" and "When We Go", remakes of tunes from Frisell's
Bobby Previte, "Claude's Late Morning", Gramavision 18-8811-2, copyright 1988
Bobby Previte (drums, marimba, keyboards, drum machine, vocals), Wayne
Horvitz (hammond organ, piano, harmonica), Ray Anderson (tuba, trombone),
Bill Frisell (electric guitar, banjo), Josh Dubin (pedal steel guitar), Joey
Baron (drums), Carol Emanuel (harp), Guy Klucevsek (accordion), Jim Mussen
(electronic drums, sampling)
I like this album a lot. Energetic, with a lot of drive. Since basically
everyone on the album is a rhythm section player, a lot of the pieces really
Hank Roberts, "Black Pastels", JMT 882 016, rec. 11-12/1987
Hank Roberts (cello, voices, classical 12-string guitar, jazz-a-phone
fiddle), Tim Berne (alto sax), Ran Anderson (trombine), Robin Eubanks
(trombone), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Bill Frisell (guitar, acoustic
12-string guitar, banjo), Mark Dresser (bass - 1 cut), Joey Baron (drums,
Quite a good album. Roberts' compositions are sort of "dark", but a lot of
them have a strong pulse. A little bit of country/folk/hoedown aesthetic, I
David Sanborn, "Another Hand", Elektra/Musician E2 61088, copyright 1991
David Sanborn (alto sax), Bill Frisell (electric and acoustic guitar - 5
cuts), Charlie Haden (bass - 4 cuts), Joey Baron (drums - 7 cuts), Leon
Pendarvis (organ - 1 cut), Don Alias (percussion - 7 cuts), Lenny Pickett
(tenor sax, clarinet - 2 cuts), Art Baron (trombone - 2 cuts), Marc Ribot
(guitar - 5 cuts), Terry Adams (piano - 4 cuts), Greg Cohen (bass - 5 cuts),
Syd Straw (vocals - 2 cuts), Al Anderson (guitar - 1 cut), Steve Jordan
(drums - 1 cut), Marcus Miller (bass guitar - 2 cuts), Jack DeJohnette
(drums - 2 cuts), Mulgrew Miller (piano - 2 cuts), Dave Tronzo (guitar - 3
David Sanborn is a little "lite" for me, but this album has moments.
Sanborn doesn't impress me, but some of the sidemen have good performances.
It's nice to listen to from 10-second bit to 10-second bit, but it mostly
doesn't feel like it's going anywhere to me; my mother would probably like
it. Includes a remake of Frisell's "Monica Jane", first released on Paul
Bley's "Fragments", which is IMHO the best tune on the album.
John Scofield, "Grace Under Pressure", Blue Note CDP 7 98167 2, rec. Dec 1991
John Scofield (electric guitar), Bill Frisell (electric and acoustic
guitar), Charlie Haden (bass), and Joey Baron (drums), with a horn section
on half the tracks: Randy Brecker (flugelhorn), John Clark (French horn),
Jim Pugh (trombone)
A great album. They swing pretty hard, but it also has the "contented" feel
I hear in Marc Johnson's "Bass Desires Second Sight". Both guitarists play
quite well, and Frisell *really* knows how to comp to Scofield's soloing.
Tony Scott, "Lush Life Volumes 1 and 2", Core Records COCD 9.00666 O and
9.00667 O, recorded 1981-1984.
Tony Scott (piano, vocals, clarinet, recitation, bari sax, electric piano,
tenor sax), Ed Schuller (bass - 5 cuts), Tony Arco (drums - 4 cuts), Bill
Frisell (guitar - 2 cuts), Monica Sciacca (Tony Scott's daughter, 11 years
old at the time. She sings one version), and Billy Strayhorn (a tape of
Strayhorn---"of documentary value")
A two-cd set containing 8 1/2 versions of Billy Strayhorn's song "Lush
Life", 3 1/2 versions of Scott's "Blues for a Lush", a blues version of the
tune, plus "Nightmare". It's a weird idea, but he pulls some of them off.
Others, however, are a little self-indulgent. Light on the Frisell.
Leni Stern, "Clairvovant", Passport PJ 88015, rec. 12/16-17/85
Leni Stern (guitar), Bill Frisell (guitar), Bob Berg (tenor sax), Larry
Wills (piano), Harvie Swartz (acoustic bass), Paul Motian (drums)
I haven't heard it in a while (my record player broke...) so I can't really
comment on it. As I recall, it was listenable but unadventurous.
Eberhard Weber, "Fluid Rustle", ECM 1137 (829 381-2), rec. January 1979
Bonnie Herman (voice), Norma Winstone (voice), Gary Burton (vibraharp,
marimba), Bill Frisell (guitar, balalaika), Eberhard Weber (bass, tarang)
Maybe Bill's first recording. ECMish sound---lots of ambience, and "wash
of sound". I really like this album. Beautiful, but it also grooves pretty
hard in parts. The instrumentation is wonderful; the two voices are used
atmospherically more than vocally, and everything blends well together.
Eberhard Weber, "Later That Evening", ECM 1231 (829 382-2), rec. March 82
Paul McCandless (soprano sax, oboe, English horn, bass clarinet), Bill
Frisell (guitar), Lyle Mays (piano), Michael DiPasqua (drums, percussion),
Eberhard Weber (bass)
Somewhat similar to "Fluid Rustle", but with more standard instruments. It
doesn't excite me nearly as much, though; I find it to be a little too
amorphous in parts, though still beautiful.
Stefan F. Winter, arr. Herb Robertson, "The Little Trumpet", JMT 860007,
rec. July 1986. Vinyl only. (Might be alphabetized under Herb Robertson)
Herb Robertson (pocket trumpet, fluegelhorn, cornet), Tim Berne (alto sax),
Robin Eubanks (trombone), Bob Stewart (tuba), Bill Frisell (electric and
acoustic guitar), Warren Smith (vibraphone and marimbaphone), Anthony Cox
(double-bass), eggie Nicholson (drums).
"Program music"---the liner notes come with a cute story about a little
trumpet, and each of the pieces sort of advances the plot a little. Sort of
a jazz Peter and the Wolf. Great playing, especially in the improvised
sections, with a couple of solos by Frisell.
John Zorn, "The Big Gundown", Nonesuch/Icon 9 79139-2, rec 9/84-9/85
Luli Shioi (vocals - 1 cut), Jim Staley (trombone - 2 cuts), Bill Frisell
(electric guitar - 2 cuts), Anthony Coleman (piano, harpsichord, organ,
vocals - 1 cut), David Weinstein (mirage, microcomputer - 2 cuts), Bobby
Previte (percussion, tympani, vocals - 4 cuts), Jorge Silva, Claudio Silva,
Ciro Batistam Duduca Fonseca, Reinaldo Fernandes (surdo, pandeiro, cuica,
caixa, and repique respectively, only on one cut), Arto Lindsay (batucada
contractor, electric guitar, vocals - 4 cuts), John Zorn (alto sax, saw,
vocals, harpsichord, piano, game calls - 6 cuts), Orvin Aquart (harmonicas -
2 cuts), Tim Berne (alto sax - 1 cut), Wayne Horvitz (piano and keyboards -
5 cuts), Bob James (tapes - 4 cuts), Anton Fier (drums - 3 cuts), Toota
Thielmans (whistling and harmonica - 1 cut), Guy Klucevsek (accordion - 1
cut), Carol Emanuel (harp - 1 cut), Fred Frith (electric and acoustic guitar
- 3 cuts), Jody Harris (electric guitar - 2 cuts), Melvin Gibbs (electric
bass - 2 cuts), Big John Patton (organ - 1 cut), Shelley Hirsch (vocals),
Laura Biscotto (sexy Italian vocals - 1 cut), Vicki Bodner (oboe, English
horn - 2 cuts), Christian Marclay (turntables - 2 cuts), Ned Rothenberg
(shakuhachi, ocarina, jew's harp - 1 cut), Michihiro Sato (tsugaru shamisen
- 1 cut), Diamanda Galas (vocals - 1 cut), Vernon Reid (electric guitar - 1
cut), Polly Bradfield (violin - 1 cut), Mark Miller (drums, tympani - 1 cut),
Robert Quine (electric guitar - 1 cut).
Zorn-arranged music of Ennio Morricone, a movie scorer. These are all
interesting arrangements, each with fairly different orchestration (e.g.,
whistling/harmonica, accordion, and harp). Nothing too radical, for Zorn at
least, but a solid album.
John Zorn, "Cobra", Hat Art CD 60401 (studio - rec 5/9/86) and 60402 (live -
Jim Staley (trombone - studio only), Carol Emanuel (harp - studio only),
Zeena Parkins (harp - studio only), J.A. Deane (trombone synthesizer,
electronics - live only), Bill Frisell (electric guitar), Elliot Sharp
(doubleneck guitar/bass, soprano guitar, voice), Anthony Coleman (piano and
keyboards), Wayne Horvitz (piano and keyboards), David Weinstein (mirage
sampling keyboards, celeste), Guy Klucevsek (accordion), Bob James (tapes),
Christian Marclay (turntables), Bobby Previte (percussion (studio) and drum
machine (live)), John Zorn (prompter).
These are "game theory" pieces---Zorn didn't actually write the music, but
instead devised a set of rules for a game that the performers play. They
form teams and get points and follow the rules and win or lose. The musical
result sounds chaotic and very weird. This album doesn't do much for me;
like lots of 20th century "classical" music, I like it better in theory than
John Zorn, "Spillane", Elektra/Nonesuch 9 79172-2, rec 7-8/86
First track ("Spillane"): Anthony Coleman (piano, organ, celeste), Carol
Emanuel (harp), Bill Frisell (guitar), David Hofstra (tuba, bass), Bob James
(tapes), Bobby Previte (drums), Robert Quine (voice of mike hammer's
conscience), Jim Staley (trombone), David Weinstein (keyboards, celeste),
John Zorn (alto sax, clarinet), John Lurie (voice of mike hammer)
Second and third tracks ("Two-Lane Highway"): Albert Collins (guitar,
voice), Bobby Previte (drums), Robert Quine (guitar), Big John Patton
(organ), Wayne Horvitz (piano, keyboards), Melvin Gibbs (bass), Ronald
Shannon Jackson (drums)
Fourth track ("Forbidden Fruit"): Christian Marclay (turntables), Ohta
Hiromi (voice), David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt
(viola), Joan Jeanrenaud (cello)
Three long pieces of "cut up" music---lots of different styles
patched together. Very intense and very cool; I like the album a lot. The
first is based on the life of Mickey Spillane, and it's got a lot of jazz
and blues along with some more outside stuff. The second is a sort of
concerto for Albert Collins, going through different blues styles, but at a
slow pace for Zorn. The last is the least accessible, for the Kronos string
quartet. All in all, maybe my favorite Zorn album.
John Zorn/George Lewis/Bill Frisell, "News For Lulu", Hat Art CD 6005, rec
John Zorn (alto sax), George Lewis (trombone), Bill Frisell (guitar)
Remakes of second-rate bebop tunes by Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Sonny Clark
and Freddie Reid. Very hard-swinging and intense.
John Zorn/George Lewis/Bill Frisell, "More News For Lulu", Hat Art CD 6055,
John Zorn (alto sax), George Lewis (trombone), Bill Frisell (guitar)
Like the first "News For Lulu", with many of the same songs, but with a
freer, more "live" feel. The pieces are longer on average, because the
soloists take a little more time. It features Frisell more than the first
and I think it's a little better.
John Zorn, "Film Works 1986-1990", Elektra/Nonesuch 9 79270-2, rec 6/86,
5/90, 4/87, and 12/86
Tracks 1-6: Robert Quine (guitar), Arto Lindsay (guitar, vocals), Melvin
Gibbs (bass), Anton Fier (drums), Carol Emanuel (harp), David Weinstein
(keyboards), Ned Rothenberg (bass clarinet)
Tracks 7-17: Vicki Bodner (oboe), John Zorn (alto sax), Robert Quine
(guitar), Anthony Coleman (keyboards), Carol Emanuel (harp), David Shea
(turntable, vocals), Mark Dresser (bass), Ciro Baptista (Brazilian
percussion), Bobby Previte (drums, marimba)
Track 18: Robert Quine (guitar), Bill Frisell (guitar), Fred Frith (bass),
Wayne Horvitz (hammond organ), David Weinstein (keyboards), Carol Emanuel
(harp), Robert Previte (drums, percussion, vocal)
Tracks 19-32: Shelley Hirsch (voice), John Zorn (alto sax), Marty Ehrlich
(tenor sax, clarinet), Tom Varner (French horn), Jim Staley (trombone), Bill
Frisell (guitar), Carol Emanuel (harp), Anthony Coleman (keyboards), Wayne
Horvitz (keyboards), David Weinstein (keyboards), David Hofstra (bass), Nana
Vasconcelos (Brazilian percussion), Bobby Previte (drums, percussion, vibes,
timpani, orchestra bells).
A lot of rock- and blues-oriented stuff, including Robert Quine's punk
guitar work. This is among Zorn's most inside music, but I like it a lot.
John Zorn, "Naked City"---Alphabetized in this discography under "Naked City"
(The first album was called "Naked City", with Zorn listed as the leader.
The rest of them have been listed as by the *band* Naked City.)
Section 3: Rock/Pop
(This section is arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically within
Ambitious Lovers, "Greed", Virgin 7 90903-2, copyright 1988
"The Ambitious Lovers are" Peter Scherer (keyboards, synth bass, drum
programming and sampling) and Arto Lindsay (vocal, guitar). With Nana
Vasconcelos (percussion and vocal - 3 cuts), Vernon Reid (rhythm guitar - 3
cuts), Melvin Gibbs (bass guitar - 1 cut), D.K. Dyson (background vocals - 4
cuts), John Zorn (sax - 2 cuts), Bill Frisell (guitar - 2 cuts), Joey Baron
(drums - 2 cuts), Bernard Fowler (background vocals - 1 cut), Marcal, Luna,
Eliseu, Trambique, Gordinho (various percussion - 2 cuts), Steve Horton
(rhythm guitar - 1 cut), Sergio Brandao (cavaquinho), John Lurie (sax - 1
cut), Gail Lou (background vocals - 3 cuts), Jill Jaffe (violin - 1 cut).
Brasilian-influenced synth pop. Not quite top 40 material but close.
Nothing very special on the whole album (especially considering the
musicians!), but I kind of like it. The first Frisell cut is weird and
sparse, sort of poetry recitation set to Frisell and Baron. The second is a
pretty standard Brasilian-sounding song. The Ambitious Lovers have some
other albums without Frisell.
Marianne Faithful, "Strange Weather", Island 422 842 593-2, copyright 1987
Marianne Faithful (vocals), Bill Frisell (guitars), Fernando Saunders
(bass), Michael Levine (violin - 1 cut), Sharon Freeman (piano - 2 cuts),
J.T. Lewis (drums - 4 cuts), Chris Hunter (flute, alto sax - 2 cuts), Garth
Hudson (accordions - 1 cut), Mac Rebennack (piano - 2 cuts), Robert Quine
(guitar - 2 cuts), Steve Slagle (alto sax - 1 cut), William Schimmel
(accordion - 1 cut), Lew Soloff (trumpet - 1 cut), plus a 10-person string
section and 11-person horn section.
Marianne Faithful sings "classic songs". I haven't heard Faithful's other
work, so I can't compare it, but I find this album to be very interesting.
They're great old songs, and Frisell has a prominent role as an
accompanist. (And he really does it well. The man can comp!) Marianne
Faithful's voice is quite unusual; some like it and some hate it. To me she
sounds a little bit like the voice of Greggery Peccary on Frank Zappa's
Gavin Friday and the Man Seezer, "Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves", Island
CID 9925, copyright 1989
Gavin Friday (vocals), Man Seezer (piano, keyboards, accordion, organ), Bill
Frisell (guitars), Marc Ribot (guitars, banjo), Fernando Saunders (bass,
guitar), Michael Blair (drums, percussion), Hank Roberts (celli and
electronics), Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (backing vocals - 1 cut)
Kind of pretentious pop, sung in what sounds to me like an affected British
accent. Sounds like maybe he's trying to emulate early Peter Gabriel a
little, perhaps with a little Sid Vicious thrown in. Doesn't feature
Frisell, Ribot, or Roberts very much, although they're all great musicians.
A couple of brief guitar solos are the highlights of the album, but nothing
to write home about.
Robin Holcomb [self-titled], Elektra/Musician 9 60983-2, copyright 1990
Robin Holcomb (piano/vocals), Doug Wieselman (clarinet, tenor sax, electric
and acoustic guitars), Dave Hofstra (bass, tuba), Danny Frankel (drums,
percussion), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards, harmonica), Bill Frisell (guitars),
with John Caulfield (violin and mandolin - 2 cuts), Nica ("sings and tells
stories" - 1 cut).
I wasn't sure whether to put this in the rock category. It's basically
folk-rock, but with a jazzy cast. It's produced by Wayne Horvitz, so it has
some jazzy elements. She has an interesting voice, folkish with a little
twang. Frisell has one or two great solos.
Robin Holcomb, "Rockabye", Elektra/Musician 9 61289-2, copyright 1992
Robin Holcomb (piano, vocals), Stew Cutler (guitars - 6 cuts), Peter
Holsapple (guitars - 2 cuts), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards - 6 cuts), Dave
Hofstra (bass/tuba - 8 cuts), Alan Bezozi (drums - 2 cuts), Doug Wieselman
(sax, clarinet, guitar - 7 cuts), Danny Frankel (drums - 7 cuts), Mino
Cinelu (percussion - 1 cut), Peter Ostroushko (mandolin, violin - 2 cuts),
Guy Klucevsek (accordion - 1 cut), Art Baron (trombone - 2 cuts), Bruce
"Creeper" Kurnow (harmonica - 1 cut).
Not much Frisell, but he solos on one track. This is a little more produced
than Holcomb's first album, for what it's worth. A little less folk and a
little more country.
Ryuchi Sakamoto, "Heart Beat", Virgin V2-86291, copyright 1991
"All songs programmed and performed by Ryuchi Sakamoto". With Dee Dee Brave
(vocals - 2 cuts), Steven Burnstein (trumpet - 3 cuts), Satoshi Tomiie
(additional percussion - 5 cuts), Super DJ Dmitry (Russian rap - 1 cut),
Magic Dick (harmonica - 1 cut), Marco Prince (French rap - 1 cut), Jungle DJ
Towa Towa (scratch - 1 cut), John Lurie (alto sax - 1 cut), Axel Nielhaus
("huh" - 1 cut), Arto Lindsay (lead vocals - 1 cut), Debra Barsha
(background vocal - 1 cut), Youssou N'Dour (lead vocal - 1 cut), David
Sylvian/Ingrid Chavez (vocals - 2 cuts), Bill Frisell (guitar - 2 cuts), John
Cage from Mureau (talking),
Probably the worst album I've ever heard with Frisell. Lame 80's disco
synth-drum machine dance pop. Imagine Madonna's worst songs, poorly
produced and sung. Frisell solos briefly in one cut, but the backing drum
machine beat is so lame that it ruins it for me.
Caetano Veloso, "Estrangiero", Elektra/Musician 9 60898-2, copyright 1989
Caetano Veloso (voice), Peter Scherer (keyboards), Arto Lindsay (guitar and
vocals), Bill Frisell (guitar - 2 cuts), Tony Lewis (drums - 1 cut), Nana
Vasconcelos (percussion and voice - 4 cuts), Toni Costa (guitar - 3 cuts),
Tavinho Fialho (bass - 2 cuts), Cesinha (drums - 3 cuts), Carlinhos Brown
Brazilian songs. I don't know much about this music, but I enjoy it.
Only two cuts with Frisell, and he doesn't really play in his style.
Section 4: Compilation albums with only a few cuts by Frisell
(This section is in no particular order.)
"Amarcord Nino Rota", Hannibal Records HNCD 9301, copyright 1981
A tribute album, to Nino Rota, who wrote the soundtrack music to
many of Fellini's films. Frisell's one track is a multiply overdubbed
version of "Juliet of the Spirits", which is really beautiful. It's similar
in style to his work on "In Line". Other tracks include Jaki Byard, The
Carla Bley Band, and Steve Lacy.
"Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films",
A&M Records CD 3918 DX 003644, copyright 1988.
Another Hal Willner-produced tribute album, this time it's songs from Disney
movies like Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Mary Poppins. Frisell plays on two cuts
with Ken Nordine (who narrates in an amazing booming bass voice) and Wayne
Horvitz, two cuts with just Horvitz, and one cut as the guitarist in a huge
orchestra backing up Ringo Starr singing "When You Wish Upon a Star". I
really like this album a lot, both Frisell's stuff and the other tracks.
Other performers include Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Suzanne Vega,
Syd Straw, Aaron Neville/Dr. John (singing the song from the Mickey Mouse
Club), NRBQ, Betty Carter, Sun Ra and Arkestra, Sinead O'Connor, and James
"A Confederacy of Dances Vol I.: Live Recordings from the Roulette
Series New York", Einstein 001, copyright 1992.
1. Bill Frisell: April 16, 1988 (4:29)
2. Christian Marclay: Untitled (3:28)
3. Tohban Djan: Blue Seed (3:59)
4. Zeena Parkins: Scruples (8:23)
5. Billy Bang: One for Albert (3:23)
6. Anthony Coleman: Acid Jazz Burnout (8:09)
7. David Weinstein: Icetralia (1:09)
8. Chris Cochrane: To Disenfranchise (Repatriation (3:35)
9. Ron Kuivila: Canon Y (3:45)
10. John Zorn: Sebastopol (6:02)
11. Guy Klucevsek: Sylvan Steps (7:10)
12. David Weinstein: Poland (1:47)
13. Shelley Hirsch, Ikue Mori, David Shea, Jim Staley 4tet: Ulula
14. Jeanne Lee & Wadada eo Smith: Beauty is a Rarity (9:29)
Frisell's one track is a solo electric guitar improvisation, with lots of
digital delay, used compositionally. The whole album is very outside, with
lots of solo stuff.
"Gramavision 10th Anniversary Sampler" (2 discs), Gramavision R2 79461
Includes three Frisell tracks: one from Bob Moses' "When Elephants Dream of
Music", one from Billy Hart's "Rah", and one from Bobby Previte's "Claude's
Late Morning. I'd recommend getting the original albums, of course. Other
cuts include Scofield, Bernie Worrell, Pete Levin, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Ray
Anderson, and the Kronos quartet.
Rubaiyat: Elektra's 40th Anniversary
This album has a clever concept: songs originally released on Elektra
records, covered by bands that now record for Elektra. The Frisell track is
Bob Dylan's "Going Going Gone", with Bill Frisell (guitars), Robin Holcomb
(voice), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Dave Hofstra (bass), and Danny Frankel
(drums). I like this track a lot; it has interesting singing by Holcomb and
a very long and powerful guitar solo. The album also includes pieces by the
Kronos Quartet, Ambitious Lovers, and John Zorn, but it's mostly rockers
like The Cure, Metallica, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, Linda Ronstadt,
10,000 Maniacs, Pixies, etc.
Section 5: Rumors
Please send me mail if you know anything about any of these albums!
Seigen Ono: "Comme Des Garcons", Vol 1, maybe Vol 2. Virgin CDVE 51 [CD] and
Virgin CDVE 52 [CD]
Jeff.Spirer@Corp.Sun.COM (Jeff Spirer) says it exists, as does
Cynical Hysterie Hour (Japanese cartoon music)
Jeff.Spirer@Corp.Sun.COM (Jeff Spirer) says it exists. Also,
... "Cynical Hysterie Hours" is supposedly on Wave/Eva, but it's
virtually impossible to find outside of Japan apparently. ("CHH" is
cartoon music by Zorn. It's also available on laserdisc -- with the
cartoons of course, since it's video! -- from Japan. I ordered it a
while ago in that form and should be getting it soon. Film at 11...)
John Oswald, "Plunderphonic"
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike DeMurga)
Frisell also plays on John Oswald's Plunderphonic (the one
destroyed for copyright reasons) on one track (an elvis "cover").
Tribe Called Quest
From: Marc Dionne
In addition, strictly in the rumor pile, is the upcoming Tribe Called
Quest disc, which is supposed to feature (among many others) Bill Frisell
and Fred Frith, and to be produced by Bill Laswell.
Date of release unknown, but it want into production about a year ago...
Henry Kaiser, "Same Old Thing"
Herb Robertson, "Transparency", JMT 834402-1
I saw this in a record guide once but have never seen the album.
Michihiro Sato and Zorn: "Ganryu Island", Yukon 2101
Jim Staley and Ikue Mori, "Mumbo Jumbo", Rift 12 [LP]
John Zorn, "Tribute to Godard
John Zorn, "Godard ca vous chant?", Nato 634
Below is the Avant label's proposed releases for 1992/1993. The
three NEW COMPOSERS SERIES" titles should be released around
November. Unfortunately Harmonia Mundi U.K. have no further
details on the other titles however they will release them in the
U.K. as soon as they're available in Japan. The information appears
as received; I cannot be held responsible for their melodramatic turn
* AVAN-3: JOHN ZORN NAKED CITY / RADIO VOL. 1
Compositional experiments in popular music. 20 originals from the
NAKED CITY repertoire exploring Hardcore, Surf, Jazz, Classical,
R&B, Funk, Acid, House, Grunge Jazz, Movie Standards, Klezmer,
Heavy Metal, Ethno Pop, Cartoon Music and more...
[Usually in the same song]
* AVAN-4: JOHN ZORN NAKED CITY / ABSINTHE
New directions in ambient/industrial music. 7 evil, droneoriented
performances dedicated to the elusive green liquor that was the
psychedelic drug of choice to CHARLES BAUDELAIRE, PAUL VERLAINE,
and PABLO PICASSO in turn-of-the-century France.
* AVAN-5: JOHN ZORN NAKED CITY / RADIO VOL. 2
NAKED CITY'S "COVER" RECORD. An album of JOHN ZORN's eclectic
arrangements of some of the most important, and often overlooked
compositions of the 20th century.
JERRY GOLDSMITH, ORNETTE COLEMAN, BRIAN WILSON, IGOR STRAVINSKY,
DUKE ELLINGTON, TUSHIMA TOSHIAKI, WILLIAM ORBIT, GEORGE
CLINTON, and many more.