Bill Frisell
Blue Note, 2020

August 18, 2020

Bill Frisell‘s second album for Blue Note is titled Valentine.

Produced by Lee Townshend, the album features Frisell accompanied by Thomas Morgan on double bass and Rudy Royston on drums. A trio with which the guitarist has often toured but without ever leaving recordings.

The repertoire is built with eight originals written by Frisell (including the Monkian blues “Valentine” which gives the record its title), the jazz standard “A Flower Is A Lonesome Thing” by Billy Strayhorn, the classic western “Wagon Wheels” written in the 30s by Billy Hill and Peter DeRose, !What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and the initial “Baba Drame”, by Malian singer-songwriter Boubacar Traoré.



The collection closes with the classic “We Shall Overcome”, the pacifist anthem par excellence which was certainly placed to close the collection not by chance. Here, in an arrangement that maintains the original gospel attitude but which demonstrates all the guitar mastery of Frisell, who embellishes the theme with pentatonic scales and harmonic sounds.

The album adds nothing to Frisell’s poetics, which moves on the guidelines (timbre, melodic and harmonic) that have always characterized his work: liquid sounds and fluid melodies but at times aggressive and dissonant, simple harmonies generically inspired by folk. However, the complicity and interplay of the three musicians, skilled in the art of “removing” and in the poetics of spaces and whispered and not shouted music, are greatly appreciated in “Valentine




Bill Frisell Valentine Blue Note, 2020 © Jazzespresso 2020

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