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Bill Frisell

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ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2012
Performing in a trio that includes violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston, Bill Frisell opens a night of eclectic modern jazz with his signature guitar sound, which can alternately sting or soothe in a gorgeous and unique mix of rustic Americana and slow-boiling jazz. He joins the chamber-informed explorations of the Billy Childs Quartet and the Kronos Quartet, who will perform separately before combining on one of Childs' pieces for what should be a captivating blur between whatever lines separate jazz and classical music.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2014 | By Chris Barton
Though based in Brooklyn, 24-year-old saxophonist Ben Flocks sounds miles removed from the bustle of the city on his self-released debut. The California-born Flocks performed with Joshua Redman and Dave Brubeck while coming up in the Bay Area scene, and here he looks to Americana and blues for a soulful album inspired by his home state. Bookending the record with a steadily burning pace, the album's title track is its most irresistible. Atop a thick, head-bobbing groove, Flocks glides between Ari Chersky's guitar and Sam Reider's starlit Fender Rhodes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 2012 | By Chris Barton
There's a unique pleasure that comes with being a fan of jazz or what could be more generally referred to as improvised music. Sometimes musical pairings among heavyweights that sound akin to far-fetched debates behind comic book store counters ("What would happen if Spider-Man fought Superman?") eventually become a reality. And attention must be paid. This was the feeling in approaching the Mint on Wednesday evening, the final night of Matt Chamberlain's monthlong residency . The show already felt like an event in teaming the ace session drummer with guitarist Bill Frisell, and once word spread that L.A.'s own musical gadfly - and top-notch improvisor in his own right - Jon Brion would be sitting in as well, there was no wonder a line at the door stretched down Pico Boulevard.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Chris Barton
A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows that lie ahead: Robert Hurst at the Blue Whale A onetime member of "The Tonight Show" band who has also been a part of Diana Krall's touring group, Detroit bassist Robert Hurst has an eclectic, richly rewarding output in his own right that includes last year's elegant "Bob: A Palindrome" and "Unrehurst Vol. 2," a 2011 live album recorded with drummer Chris Dave and Grammy-winning keyboardist-of-the-moment Robert...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 1989 | DON HECKMAN
Bill Frisell is definitely on to something. The New York City-based guitarist (actually, he lives across the Hudson in Hoboken) has been touted for years by critics and musicians as one of the most gifted players to arrive on the scene in the '80s. Sunday night at At My Place, in the Los Angeles debut of his quartet, Frisell left little doubt that his good notices have been more than justified.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 1998 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Bill Frisell, the celebrated modern musician who has recorded with the likes of Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker and Joe Lovano, gives new meaning to the word "eclectic." The guitarist-composer's most recent Nonesuch album, "Gone, Just Like a Train," finds him working in a bare-bones trio with bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner, sounding like a slow-motion, spaced-out version of Jimi Hendrix one moment, a gritty country-esque picker the next.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2005 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Guitarist Bill Frisell's omnivorous musical appetite has created a remarkable career, embracing styles reaching across a wide spectrum of creative genres and resulting in winning a Grammy in the best contemporary jazz category earlier this year for the CD "Unspeakable." His various ensembles include some of the music world's most adept practitioners, and his own playing unhesitatingly blends jazz, blues, gospel, rock and various forms of electronic manipulation.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2008 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
A guitar-and-drum set duo may sound like far too limited an instrumental recipe to produce tempting contemporary jazz. But the performance by guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Joey Baron at the Jazz Bakery on Thursday night proved that, in the hands of gifted players, even the sparest elements can produce remarkable results.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 1995 | Josef Woodard, Josef Woodard is a frequent contributor to Calendar
When the mild-mannered, bespectacled Bill Frisell hunches over his instrument, what comes out is akin to a garden of mutant plants with bizarrely configured beauty. Call him the Dr. Seuss of electric guitar. He uses an array of gadgets--volume pedal, distortion unit, digital delay--but the end result is always organic, with sentence-fragment jazz lines, bluesy riffs, country-Western homilies and swatches of sonic abstraction.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"You've gotta see them live. " That's a common response when talking to someone about a new musical discovery. And yet, live albums are viewed with a bit of disdain in the pop and rock realm, where they're often little more than a perfunctory, last-gasp release to fulfill the record company requirement. In the world of improvised music, however, live albums are where the rubber meets the road, where the music can venture from a sketch to a widescreen portrait. In the last few months there are have been a remarkable bounty of live albums in jazz, and each expresses artistry that existed for only one night, but now it's in your hand.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2013
The closing act of Lisa Mezzacappa's monthlong and reliably excellent JazzPOP series, Burn List features boundary pushing Seattle trumpeter Cuong Vu with saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi, keyboardist Aaron Otheim and drummer Chris Icasiano. Vu has performed with jazz adventurers including Pat Metheny, Stomu Takeishi and Bill Frisell, and this ensemble should feature no shortage of adventure in its own right. The Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, L.A. Thu., 7:30 p.m. Free. http://hammer.ucla.edu/ .
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2013
Percussionist-composer Gregg Bendian cut his teeth with John Zorn, Bill Frisell and William Parker on the outer limits of the New York jazz scene, and here he celebrates his 50th birthday with a show that attempts to encapsulate a career that included an album-length noisy feast inspired by illustrator Jack Kirby, an acclaimed reinterpretation of late-period John Coltrane called "Interstellar Space Revisited" and much more. This all-star show's roster includes a wealth of Los Angeles-area artists who have performed with Bendian, including drummer Alex Cline, trumpeter John Fumo, keyboardist David Witham and violist-arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Is there an artist as well-suited to record an album inspired by Big Sur as Bill Frisell? Having spent much of his long career working a fertile seam in the jazz world that shares ground with Americana and folk, Frisell and his often twang-dusted tone seems tailor-made for sweeping vistas and pastoral wonders. Stemming from a 2012 commission by the Monterey Jazz Festival, “Big Sur” is the result of Frisell holing himself up in a cabin at the 860-acre Glen Deven Ranch and writing music for wherever this natural muse took him. Recorded with a blend of the guitarist's most recent projects in the string-laden 858 Quartet and drummer for his Beautiful Dreamers trio Rudy Royston, the resulting 19-track suite approaches a lush, near-orchestral sweep on the strength of violist Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts and Jenny Scheinman on violin.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2013 | By Chris Barton
It's a testament to the strange alchemy that comes out of Medeski Martin and Wood's performances that an indefinable, improvisation-driven keyboard trio can draw a large, thoroughly rapt crowd to UCLA's stately Royce Hall on a Friday night. Now in their second decade since coming together in 1992, the trio has trafficked in a unique, groove-oriented mix drawing from elements of hip-hop, African music, funk and avant-leaning noise into a sound they would happily admit is far from a purist's definition of jazz.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"You've gotta see them live. " That's a common response when talking to someone about a new musical discovery. And yet, live albums are viewed with a bit of disdain in the pop and rock realm, where they're often little more than a perfunctory, last-gasp release to fulfill the record company requirement. In the world of improvised music, however, live albums are where the rubber meets the road, where the music can venture from a sketch to a widescreen portrait. In the last few months there are have been a remarkable bounty of live albums in jazz, and each expresses artistry that existed for only one night, but now it's in your hand.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 2012 | By Chris Barton
There's a unique pleasure that comes with being a fan of jazz or what could be more generally referred to as improvised music. Sometimes musical pairings among heavyweights that sound akin to far-fetched debates behind comic book store counters ("What would happen if Spider-Man fought Superman?") eventually become a reality. And attention must be paid. This was the feeling in approaching the Mint on Wednesday evening, the final night of Matt Chamberlain's monthlong residency . The show already felt like an event in teaming the ace session drummer with guitarist Bill Frisell, and once word spread that L.A.'s own musical gadfly - and top-notch improvisor in his own right - Jon Brion would be sitting in as well, there was no wonder a line at the door stretched down Pico Boulevard.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1990 | DIRK SUTRO
The sound of his electric guitar probes through space like some futuristic laser weapon. At 39, Bill Frisell, who plays Elario's tonight at 8 and 10, has merged influences from Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Jimi Hendrix, country-Western and be-bop into a fresh, eclectic brew that has critics hailing the emergence of a guitar hero for the 1990s. Frisell is revered among music reviewers.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2008
Calling guitarist Bill Frisell eclectic (as many observers do) is like calling bouillabaisse a fish soup. It doesn't come close to describing the complete recipe of musical flavors and sensations that Frisell brings to everything he plays. And working a duet gig with the layered percussion sounds of Joey Baron should unleash a full panoply of Frisell's mind-altering guitar sounds. Expect a spicy musical evening. 8 and 9:30 p.m. today-Fri., the Jazz Bakery. $25. (310) 271-9039
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Unless you're a regular subscriber to Modern Drummer magazine, the name Matt Chamberlain may not ring immediately familiar to you. If you're a jazz or rock fan, however, you would be amazed how many times you've heard Chamberlain's work in recent years. Approaching the rarefied, first-call status of fellow session luminaries such as Jim Keltner, Chamberlain's recent credits practically read like an as-yet unbooked Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Chamberlain recently appeared on Bruce Springsteen's album "Wrecking Ball," and previous credits include Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Sugarland and Kanye West.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2012
Performing in a trio that includes violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston, Bill Frisell opens a night of eclectic modern jazz with his signature guitar sound, which can alternately sting or soothe in a gorgeous and unique mix of rustic Americana and slow-boiling jazz. He joins the chamber-informed explorations of the Billy Childs Quartet and the Kronos Quartet, who will perform separately before combining on one of Childs' pieces for what should be a captivating blur between whatever lines separate jazz and classical music.
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