Bill Frisell: jazz between tradition and experimenting

05. November 2014
Giulia Oro & Pilarica Martin

The experienced guitarist Bill Frisell delighted the audience last Friday 31st of October at the Vene Culture Centre with his last project “Guitar in the space age”. 

The legendary Fender Telecaster started with a vague country resonance, followed by the rhythm of bass, percussion, dobro and pedal/lap-steel. The musicians showed a bright articulation of the melody with their ability to change different styles without any pause, mixing country with folk and blues and experiencing psychedelic echoes in between. 


As the title of the project suggests, this brilliant musician wanted to make a tribute to the most famous american guitarists – the ones who inspired him – including different styles from the ‘40s to the ‘60s. The ability of this band wasn’t only to give their individual contribution, but to come together as every part of the sum, thanks to the perfect synchrony between all instruments. 


Furthermore, they were able to bring out the roots of American music together with modern chords and improvisations. In particular, Bill Frisell showed his avant-garde style – employing guitar effects pedals such as squealings and distorted tones – which has been developed during his deep and experimental career.


There is no doubt: it was an ongoing reliance of a personal interpretation of the covers that showed an inimitable way of arrange music. To sum up, a gradual increase in the intensity and rhythm of the songs was turning the concert in an increscendo mood. There was a point where the force of the music seemed to carry the audience in another dimension. The vibes of the tunes reminded to the American pristine landscapes opening up the auditorium to the wide and isolated spaces. 


Finally, the concert ended with loud applauses, so intense and so touched, that the people started to stamp the ground asking more. The band came out again to play the last song, simultaneously swings and rocks, showing again their ability to combine different melodies in an unique experience.


Bill Frisell, “Guitar in the space age”

31st of October 2014 at Vene Kultuurikeskus


Bill Frisell: guitar

Greg Leisz: dobro, pedal-steel, lap-steel

Tony Scherr: bass

Kenny Wollesen: percussion