Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bill Frisell: The Quiet Genius

If there is a given within the music of guitarist Bill Frisell, it's the honest approach in every note he composes and plays. There are no compromises. His magical world of creativity incorporates yet transcends all styles and genres of music, and as one of today's most original and innovative composers, he has created a unique and distinct voice that has developed into his own personal musical language.

Without perhaps trying to do so, Frisell creates the greatest support yet for the argument that jazz doesn't have to be stylized, compartmentalized, or labeled. There is a seamless quality to his compositional approach that weaves between various cultures, generations, and styles within his art form. Bill prefers not to speak about his music but to let it unfold and thereby challenge listeners to find their own interpretation, their own relationship with the music.

Within the depths and at the heart of his creative process, he stays true to the jazz approach, yet on the surface, there lies a musical diversity from many generations of Americana to the music of South America, Europe, and Africa. A brilliant guitarist, one hears influences from Jim Hall to Jimi Hendrix, but to focus on his technical proficiency would be to deny his compositional genius as a painter of sound.


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