Originally introduced to me years ago, it’s not until the past few months that I have really started to appreciate the incredible talents of Bill Frisell. I have yet to properly acquaint myself with most of his original music, but I find many of his interpretations of the work of others to be very inspiring. For example, in 2012 he released “All We Are Saying…” – an album of his own interpretations of the music of John Lennon, including both Lennon’s solo work and contributions to The Beatles catalogue. There are also some stand-out live versions of songs such as ‘Julia‘ and ‘Imagine’ performed live on YouTube. Below is a link to the making of that album:
What I find most enjoyable about his playing is his sound. His ability to play just one note, let it ring out and fill the space almost perfectly. His expertise in the use of effects, such as delays, tremolo, chorus and loops also make very enjoyable listening, as I also have a deep interest in the use of guitar effects, and have become inspired to use them as innovatively as I can after watching Frisell play.
However, there is a lot of beauty in the simplicity of what he plays. I have yet to see him really show off in a technical sense, or perhaps it’s just that he makes difficult things look very easy! I imagine I will be listening to a whole lot of Bill Frisell for the rest of my days. To demonstrate what I was just saying with regards to simplicity, here is a very pretty version of ‘Surfer Girl’ by The Beach Boys by Frisell. There’s also a short commentary before it, with Frisell talking about the songs importance to him personally, as it was the first single he ever bought.