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|Birth name||William Richard Frisell|
|Born||March 18, 1951|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, folk jazz, Americana, classical|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger|
|Labels||ECM, Elektra, Nonesuch|
|Associated acts||Paul Motian, Joey Baron, Wayne Horvitz, Kermit Driscoll, John Zorn, Naked City|
William Richard Frisell (born March 18, 1951) is an American guitarist, composer and arranger.Frisell came to prominence as a jazz guitarist at ECM Records in the 1980s, and went on to work in a variety of contexts, notably as a member of the New York City Downtown Scene where he formed a long partnership with John Zorn. He was also a longtime member of Paul Motian's groups from the early 1980s until Motian's death in 2011. Since 2000, Frisell's output as a bandleader has included folk, country music, and Americana.
Frisell was born in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, but spent most of his youth in the Denver, Colorado, area.He studied clarinet with Richard Joiner of the Denver Symphony Orchestra as a youth, but by his teens was more interested in guitar. He graduated from Denver East High School, and went to the University of Northern Colorado to study music. There he studied with guitarist Johnny Smith, though Frisell later reported the class effectively became private lessons from Smith because "it was too much for everyone else--they didn't want to be learning scales and inversions."
His original guitar teacher in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area was Dale Bruning, with whom Frisell released the 2000 duo album Reunion. After graduating from Northern Colorado, Frisell went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston,where he studied with Jon Damian and Jim Hall.
Frisell's major break came when guitarist Pat Metheny was unable to make a recording session, and recommended Frisell to Paul Motian, who was recording Psalm (1982) for ECM Records.Frisell became ECM's in-house guitar player, and worked on several albums, most notably Jan Garbarek's 1982 Paths, Prints . Frisell's first solo release was In Line , which featured solo guitar as well as duets with bassist Arild Andersen.
In the 1980s, Frisell moved to Hoboken, New Jersey and was active in the New York jazz scene.He forged an early partnership with John Zorn—including as a member of avant garde jazz band Naked City—and performed or recorded with many others. He also played in Paul Motian's trio, along with saxophonist Joe Lovano.
Frisell organized a regular working group in the mid-1980s consisting of Kermit Driscoll on bass, Joey Baron on drums, and Hank Roberts on cello (later reduced to a trio when Roberts left). For studio projects, this group was regularly joined by other musicians.
In 1988 Frisell left New York City and moved to Seattle, Washington.In the early 1990s Frisell made two of his best-reviewed albums: first, Have a Little Faith , an ambitious survey of Americana of all stripes, from Charles Ives and Aaron Copland (the entirety of Billy the Kid ) to John Hiatt (the title song), Bob Dylan ("Just Like a Woman") and Madonna (a lengthy, psychedelic rock-tinged version of "Live to Tell"); and second, This Land , a complementary set of originals. During this time he performed with many musicians, including up and coming performers such as Douglas September on the album 10 Bulls. He also branched out by performing soundtracks to silent films of Buster Keaton with his trio, and contributed to Ryuichi Sakamoto's album Heartbeat .
In the mid-1990s, Frisell disbanded his trio. He continued the trend marked by Have a Little Faith by more explicitly incorporating elements of bluegrass and country music into his music. His friendship with Gary Larson led him to provide music for the TV version of The Far Side (released on the album Quartet along with music written for Keaton's Convict 13 ). Since 2000, Frisell has lived on Bainbridge Island, Washington, near Seattle.
Several of Frisell's songs, including his recording of "Over the Rainbow" and "Coffaro's Theme", originally composed in 1995 for an Italian movie, La scuola, were featured in the movie Finding Forrester in 2000.
In 1999 Frisell was commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to compose Blues Dream , which he premiered on November 15, 1999. He later recorded the work for a 2001 release on Nonesuch.
Also in 1999 he released The Sweetest Punch , which featured a seven-piece jazz ensemble reworking the tunes written and recorded by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach on Painted from Memory .
Between 2003 and 2005 Frisell acted as musical director for Century of Song, a series of concerts at the German Ruhrtriennale arts festival (produced by Lee Townsend). Frisell invited artists including Rickie Lee Jones, Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega, Arto Lindsay, Loudon Wainwright III, Vic Chesnutt, Van Dyke Parks, Buddy Miller, Ron Sexsmith and Chip Taylor to perform their favorite songs in new arrangements.
In 2003 Frisell's The Intercontinentals was nominated for a Grammy award; he won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his album Unspeakable . His 2008 album History, Mystery was nominated for a 2009 Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Frisell was also a judge for the sixth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Frisell has united with Matt Chamberlain, Tucker Martine, and Lee Townsend in the Floratone band, and they released an album on Blue Note (2007), featuring guest performance of Viktor Krauss, Ron Miles and Eyvind Kang.
In 2008 Frisell performed as a featured guest on Earth's album The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull .
In 2009 Frisell featured in a duet rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with singer-songwriter Sam Shrieve. The recording was released on Shrieve's debut album Bittersweet Lullabies.
In 2010 Frisell started working with the Savoy Jazz label and released Beautiful Dreamers in August 2010, then a second release of Sign of Life in April 2011. Also, on January 25, 2011, Frisell and Vinicius Cantuária released Lágrimas Mexicanas on the E1 label.
In June 2011 Frisell, Lee Townsend, and their frequent collaborator, Vinicius Cantuaria, participated in TEDx GoldenGateED's program, "Teaching Compassion" in Oakland, California. Frisell and Cantuaria performed separately, and Townsend assisted with technical aspects of the event.
In September 2011 Frisell released All We Are Saying , a full-length offering of his interpretations of John Lennon's music. Frisell's quintet includes violinist Jenny Scheinman, pedal steel and acoustic guitarist Greg Leisz, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wollesen. In 2017, Frisell received an honorary doctorate of music from his alma mater, Berklee College of Music.
|Smash & Scatteration (with Vernon Reid)||1984||Rykodisc|
|Lookout for Hope||1987||ECM|
|Before We Were Born||1989||Nonesuch|
|Is That You?||1990||Nonesuch|
|Where in the World?||1991||Nonesuch|
|Have a Little Faith||1992||Nonesuch|
|Go West: Music for the Films of Buster Keaton||1995||Nonesuch|
|The High Sign/One Week: Music for the Films of Buster Keaton||1995||Nonesuch|
|Gone, Just Like a Train||1998||Nonesuch|
|Good Dog, Happy Man||1999||Nonesuch|
|The Sweetest Punch||1999||Decca|
|With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones||2001||Nonesuch|
|Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian||2006||Nonesuch|
|Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet||2011||Savoy|
|All We Are Saying||2011||Savoy|
|Guitar in the Space Age!||2014||Okeh|
|When You Wish Upon a Star||2016||Okeh|
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Rambler is the second album by Bill Frisell to be released on the ECM label. It was released in 1985 and features performances by Frisell, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Stewart, Jerome Harris and Paul Motian.
This discography features albums released by guitarist Bill Frisell, released recordings of bands and projects he was/is a member of, and albums on which he appears as guest musician. Labels and dates indicate first release.
Psalm is the fifth album by Paul Motian to be released on the ECM label. It was released in 1982 and features the first recordings by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano, along with Ed Schuller and Billy Drewes.
Tribute is the second album by Paul Motian to be released on the ECM label. It was released in 1974 and features performances by Motian with Carlos Ward, Charlie Haden, Paul Metzke, and Sam Brown.
It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago is an album by Paul Motian on the ECM label. It was released in 1985 and features performances by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano and is the first album to feature the trio following three albums where they formed the basis of a quintet; Jack of Clubs (1985), The Story of Maryam (1983), and Psalm (1981).
Monk in Motian is the first album by Paul Motian to be released on the German JMT label. It was released in 1988 and features ten compositions by Thelonious Monk performed by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. Geri Allen and Dewey Redman make guest appearances. The album was reissued in 2002 on the Winter & Winter label.
I Have the Room Above Her is an album by jazz drummer Paul Motian recorded in 2004 released on the ECM label and featuring performances by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. The album was the first release by the trio since At the Village Vanguard (1995).
This is the discography of American jazz musician Paul Motian.
Vinicius is an album by guitarist, vocalist and percussionist Vinicius Cantuária.
Lágrimas Mexicanas is an album by guitarists Vinicius Cantuária and Bill Frisell which was released on the French Naïve label.
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