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Bill Frisell

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Gone Just Like A Train....BillFrisell

A Review by Carol Nelson

Bill Frisell, as a rule,follows no rules. His music defies categorization. On his new album, “Gone,Just Like a Train”, Bill plays both electric and acousticguitars, and expertly, of course. And, he has assembled what has beenreferred to as a ‘power trio’ by bringing in Viktor Krauss on bass andJim Keltner on drums and percussion. You’ll find the cd in the jazzsection of your music store, probably. Perhaps that is the right placefor it.. this recording does have much more of a jazz feel than the “Nashville”album Bill came out with last year.

Frisell has acknowledged being influenced by legendary jazz guitaristWes Montgomery, as well asplaying the “kind of harmonic things Jim Hall would play but with asound that comes from Jimi Hendrix”. “Godson Song” and “Girl AsksBoy(part1)” have a definite Wes Montgomery jazz flavor to them. Butelementsof blues, folk, rock, and bluegrass are all thrown in at some point,too. And maybe even a little country. Although this album, unlike the“Nashville” album, is solely instrumental, it’s not hard at all toimagine adding lyrics about women or whiskey or hard times to a coupleof the songs. The song “Raccoon Cat” slides easily into bluegrassterritory.

All 16 tracks (there’re only 15 listed, but there’s a hidden one at theend) are original Bill Frisell compositions. Bill shows such expertiseand inventiveness at composing that he has been referred to as an“architect of music”. “gone, just like a train” serves to furtherestablish him in this capacity.

And then… there’s the albumcover! Cartoonist Jim Woodring created the playfully colorful cover artwhile listening to Bill play and work on the music for this album. Thebright colors and almost familiar creatures evoke, in Frisell’s words,“a world of things that are hidden, buried-things you can only seein dreams, the unconscious, whatever.”All told, “gone, just like a train” is a brilliant and compelling albumcreated with a love for music.Call it jazz if you want, but Bill Frisell transcends the musicalcategories and boundaries. It’s music and it’s good.

Copyright © 1997 byCarol Nelson, All rights reserved

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