Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Bill Frisell – “Ghost Town”


Sunday morning is when the serenity comes down.  Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun.  Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice.  Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land.  It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding.  Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.

Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these.  If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you.  Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something.  But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.

Bill Frisell‘s first solo album was everything.  The 2000 release Ghost Town shined a light on all of the special qualities that defined the guitarist’s music to date and the many elements that would inform later projects.  A variation of the Frisell original “Tales From the Farside” displayed his talent at couching ominous tones in a comforting ambiance.  “What a World” and “Outlaw” show his penchant for loops and effects, and how he weaves together the multiple threads into a fabric far richer than what the individual strands might otherwise indicate.  Renditions of “Wildwood Flower” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” highlighted the guitarist’s immense talent at personalizing the songs of others, and how Frisell works those seamlessly into the flow of this individualistic recording is the ultimate proof of that talent.  These tunes are steeped in folk and Americana, but the flirtations with the avant-garde keep the ear wary.  And all of this, even at its most ferocious, keys in on the potent tranquility that lies at the heart of the music of Bill Frisell.

Ghost Town, as much as any album featured as a Sunday Morning Jazz Album, embodies everything the soundtrack of a Sunday morning person truly needs.

You need this album today, right now.

  • Artist-Title:  Bill Frisell – Ghost Town
  • Personnel:  Bill Frisell (electric & acoustic guitars, 6-string banjo, loops, bass)
  • Proper Use:  1) Watching the distant lights of the city skyline blink on as day replaces night, 2)  Immersing yourself in the sound of whispering leaves as a cool springtime breeze cuts a path through the open window, or 3)  Writing that letter to your dear friend, who you’d lost touch with so long ago.

Released in 2000 on Nonesuch Records.

Music from Seattle, WA.

Available at:  Amazon