Nov 24 2016
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
This year, perhaps as much as any year, it’s more difficult and more important than ever that we remind ourselves of the things we are truly grateful for. Name them all, big and small, and appreciate them for reminding us how special life is.
Here’s some videos from guitarist Bill Frisell. I am grateful for his music.
The first video has Frisell, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen performing live to the film “The Mesmerist,” which is filmmaker Bill Morrison‘s re-edit of a deteriorated nitrate print of the 1926 film “The Bells” (starring Lionel Barrymore and Boris Karloff). This performance went down in February 2010.
This isn’t a new thing for Frisell. He’s had many projects that have married live music and film. Two notable examples are his Buster Keaton and Disfarmer projects, which resulted in a handful of very nice recordings. I keep a close eye on Frisell’s tour schedule, and he still revisits those projects from time to time.
The second video features a collaboration between Frisell and guitarist-vocalist Vinícius Cantuária. The two have collaborated together plenty. My first experience with their pairing was on Frisell’s excellent 2003 release The Intercontinentals. The music from this video sources from the duo’s 2011 recording Lagrimas Mexicanas.
I’ve got a handful of Cantuária recordings, but far and away my favorite is his 1999 release Tucumã. It’s a spellbinding session, and Cantuária’s voice is a big reason for that enchantment. So is an excellent line-up of personnel, including Frisell, Joey Baron, Peter Apfelbaum, Erik Friedlander and Nana Vasconcelos (among others). Here’s a LINK to a video featuring the album’s title-track. Consider it Highly Recommended.
This next video comes from one of my favorite Frisell periods, when he was collaborating frequently with trumpeter-cornetist Ron Miles, and which resulted in my favorite Frisell recording Quartet. This video features a song from that album. It’s a live 1994 performance in Orvieto, Italy, with Frisell on guitar, Ron Miles on trumpet and Rob Burger on accordion. The song is called “Egg Radio,” and its potent mix of heartbreak and uplifting beauty is strong enough to make me think, even in the worst of times, that everything is going to be okay.