WBGO Radar

Bill Frisell: Guitar In The Space Age

Guitarist Bill Frisell's CD Guitar In The Space Age

Just when you think you have guitarist Bill Frisell all figured out, he comes at you from yet another angle, giving you a glimpse of his incredible sense memory.

With Guitar In The Space Age!, his new album, Bill offers us yet another look and listen into his six string life, which has spent creative time with Joe Lovano, Paul Motian, Julius Hemphill, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Sanborn, Paul Bley and Ginger Baker, among many others.

When Bill first picked up a guitar he was drawn to the sounds of Chicago Blues, English Rock and Wes Montgomery.

When he played music from this upcoming release earlier this Summer at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Frisell commented to the audience, "Does it help to let you know I was born in 1951?"

Guitar In The Space Age! settles into a program of postwar blues, country and rock 'n' roll that inspired him as a boy. Music that was coming out of those transistor radios we all had planted aside our heads, like cell phones today.

The music was infectious, and it's all here in fine Frisell fashion.

Along with Greg Leisz on pedal steel and electric guitars, Tony Scherr on acoustic & electric bass and Kenny Wolleson on drums and vibraphone, we're transported to the 1960s for a listen to "Pipeline," "Messin' With The Kid," Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser," "Surfer Girl," "Telstar" and much more, highlighted by some Frisell originals to further sweeten this time-travelled affair.

Just when you thought you had him figured out, you smile when you realize you haven't, which it what brings you to the guitarist's world in the first place.

Jump in the way back machine for this fascinating listen.

Guitar In The Space Age! comes out October 7th on OKeh Records. 

  - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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