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Unspeakable

  • 79828

Track Listing

News & Reviews

  • Sam Amidon and guitarist Bill Frisell are the guests on the eTown radio show. Following Frisell's set, Amidon makes his eTown debut performing three songs from his latest album, Lily-O—"Down the Line," "Walkin' Boss," and "Your Lone Journey"—as well as "Another Man Done Gone," from an earlier album, and joins host Nick Forster for a conversation about his life and music. The show closes with a group performance of "I'll Fly Away." You can listen to the complete show and watch the performances here.

  • Sam Amidon is the guest on today's episode of NPR's World Cafe. He is joined by guitarist Bill Frisell, who is featured on Amidon's new album, Lily-O, to perform four songs from the album: "Walkin' Boss," "Blue Mountains," "Your Lone Journey," and a web-exclusive take on "Groundhog Variations." The two also talk with World Cafe host David Dye about recording of the new album in Iceland and more. You can watch their performance of "Walkin' Boss" below and hear the complete session at npr.org.

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  • About This Album

    2004 Grammy Award Winner

     

    Celebrated guitarist Bill Frisell’s 19th Nonesuch record, Unspeakable, was released in August 2004. The groove and soul–based collaboration with renowned producer Hal Willner takes a freewheeling, idiosyncratic approach to the modern art of music sampling. As a jumping-off point for the record, Frisell and Willner employed obscure songs and sounds culled from vintage vinyl records for their own sonic explorations, borrowing and integrating choice fragments into original compositions. Willner, Saturday Night Live’s music supervisor, scoured NBC’s well-stocked record library for inspiration. The pair sampled the ideas and/or moods from the various tracks Willner had unearthed; in most cases, Frisell elaborated on the original, creating new songs and often going in a totally different direction from the sample.

    With Willner manning the turntables, Frisell is accompanied by frequent collaborators Tony Scherr (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums), and Steven Bernstein (trumpet, horn arrangements). Don Alias and Adam Dorn are featured on percussion and synth, respectively. Frisell also wrote string arrangements, which are played by the 858 Strings: violinist Jenny Scheinman, violist Eyvind Kang, and cellist Hank Roberts.

     

     

    “Making this record with Hal was the fulfillment of a 20-plus year dream for me,” said Frisell. Early in their careers, Frisell and Willner collaborated on Willner’s groundbreaking 1981 multi-artist tribute to Nina Rota’s music for Fellini films. Although he had never heard the guitarist, Willner gave Frisell his first solo recording opportunity, based on a recommendation from a mutual friend—the drummer D. Sharpe, for whom a track on Unspeakable is named—on Amarcord Nino Rota. The pair crossed paths often over the next two decades, collaborating on Stay Awake, a record of Disney music, and Weird Nightmare, a tribute to Charles Mingus. Frisell also performed as part of the Willner-produced tribute concerts for Harry Smith and Randy Newman at UCLA.

    Other Willner-produced records on which Frisell is featured include Marianne Faithful, Allen Ginsberg, David Sanborn, and Gavin Friday projects. The two also recorded music to accompany William Burroughs’s reading of Naked Lunch. More recently, they joined forces on the scores for Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester, as well as Wim Wenders’ Million Dollar Hotel with Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Bono. During the Hotel sessions, Willner heard Frisell playing dance music and got an idea for a unique joint venture, something the genre-bending Frisell had never recorded before. As Willner says, “We wanted to make a beautiful, fun record that still was a Bill Frisell record. I think we succeeded.”

     

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Bill Frisell, guitar (1-9, 11-14)
    Hal Willner, turntables (1-6, 8-11, 13, 14)
    Tony Scherr, bass (1-4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14), guitar (12)
    Kenny Wollensen, drums (1-4, 6, 8, 9, 11-14)
    Don Alias, percussion (1, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12)
    Steven Bernstein, trumpet (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
    Briggan Krauss, baritone saxophone (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
    Curtis Fowlkes, trombone (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
    Adam Dorn, synth (4)
    The 858 Strings (1, 4, 6-12, 14): Jenny Scheinman, violin; Eyvind Kang, viola; Hank Roberts, cello

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Hal Willner
    Recorded, mixed, and edited by Eric Liljestrand
    Recorded and mixed at The Village, North Hollywood, CA
    Assistant Engineers: Matt Marin, Darren Frank and Margit Pfeiffer
    Horns recorded by Noah Simon at Jarvis Recording, New York City
    Additional recording at Adam’s Place, NY; and Eric’s Place, LA
    Additional editing on track 2 by Adam Dorn
    Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

    Track 1, 7, 10 by Bill Frisell; track 3 by Hal Willner; tracks 2, 5 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner; tracks 4, 6, 8 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand; track 8 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand / Steve Bernstein / R. Walter; track 11 by Hal Willner / Otto Sieben; track 12 by Bill Frisell / Tony Scherr / Kenny Wollesen; track 13 by Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand / G. Grant; track 14 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Teddy Lasry. String arrangement on tracks 1, 4, 6-12,14 by Bill Frisell. Horn arrangement on tracks 2, 6, 9, 11, 12 by Steven Bernstein.

    Design by Barbara deWilde
    Illustrations by Noah Woods

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nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Artist Name: 
Bill Frisell
Release Date: 
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

Vintage sound samples are the jumping-off point for this playful, eclectic, and groove-oriented collaboration with producer Hal Willner. U.S. News & World Report calls this 2004 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Grammy winner “soulful, salty, soothing, spacey—and great fun.”

Description: 

2004 Grammy Award Winner

 

Celebrated guitarist Bill Frisell’s 19th Nonesuch record, Unspeakable, was released in August 2004. The groove and soul–based collaboration with renowned producer Hal Willner takes a freewheeling, idiosyncratic approach to the modern art of music sampling. As a jumping-off point for the record, Frisell and Willner employed obscure songs and sounds culled from vintage vinyl records for their own sonic explorations, borrowing and integrating choice fragments into original compositions. Willner, Saturday Night Live’s music supervisor, scoured NBC’s well-stocked record library for inspiration. The pair sampled the ideas and/or moods from the various tracks Willner had unearthed; in most cases, Frisell elaborated on the original, creating new songs and often going in a totally different direction from the sample.

With Willner manning the turntables, Frisell is accompanied by frequent collaborators Tony Scherr (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums), and Steven Bernstein (trumpet, horn arrangements). Don Alias and Adam Dorn are featured on percussion and synth, respectively. Frisell also wrote string arrangements, which are played by the 858 Strings: violinist Jenny Scheinman, violist Eyvind Kang, and cellist Hank Roberts.

 

 

“Making this record with Hal was the fulfillment of a 20-plus year dream for me,” said Frisell. Early in their careers, Frisell and Willner collaborated on Willner’s groundbreaking 1981 multi-artist tribute to Nina Rota’s music for Fellini films. Although he had never heard the guitarist, Willner gave Frisell his first solo recording opportunity, based on a recommendation from a mutual friend—the drummer D. Sharpe, for whom a track on Unspeakable is named—on Amarcord Nino Rota. The pair crossed paths often over the next two decades, collaborating on Stay Awake, a record of Disney music, and Weird Nightmare, a tribute to Charles Mingus. Frisell also performed as part of the Willner-produced tribute concerts for Harry Smith and Randy Newman at UCLA.

Other Willner-produced records on which Frisell is featured include Marianne Faithful, Allen Ginsberg, David Sanborn, and Gavin Friday projects. The two also recorded music to accompany William Burroughs’s reading of Naked Lunch. More recently, they joined forces on the scores for Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester, as well as Wim Wenders’ Million Dollar Hotel with Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Bono. During the Hotel sessions, Willner heard Frisell playing dance music and got an idea for a unique joint venture, something the genre-bending Frisell had never recorded before. As Willner says, “We wanted to make a beautiful, fun record that still was a Bill Frisell record. I think we succeeded.”

 

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Hal Willner
Recorded, mixed, and edited by Eric Liljestrand
Recorded and mixed at The Village, North Hollywood, CA
Assistant Engineers: Matt Marin, Darren Frank and Margit Pfeiffer
Horns recorded by Noah Simon at Jarvis Recording, New York City
Additional recording at Adam’s Place, NY; and Eric’s Place, LA
Additional editing on track 2 by Adam Dorn
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

Track 1, 7, 10 by Bill Frisell; track 3 by Hal Willner; tracks 2, 5 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner; tracks 4, 6, 8 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand; track 8 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand / Steve Bernstein / R. Walter; track 11 by Hal Willner / Otto Sieben; track 12 by Bill Frisell / Tony Scherr / Kenny Wollesen; track 13 by Hal Willner / Eric Liljestrand / G. Grant; track 14 by Bill Frisell / Hal Willner / Teddy Lasry. String arrangement on tracks 1, 4, 6-12,14 by Bill Frisell. Horn arrangement on tracks 2, 6, 9, 11, 12 by Steven Bernstein.

Design by Barbara deWilde
Illustrations by Noah Woods

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79828

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
38
ns_album_id: 
562
ns_album_releasedate: 
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597982824BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597982862
Price: 
10.00
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Bill Frisell, guitar (1-9, 11-14)
Hal Willner, turntables (1-6, 8-11, 13, 14)
Tony Scherr, bass (1-4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14), guitar (12)
Kenny Wollensen, drums (1-4, 6, 8, 9, 11-14)
Don Alias, percussion (1, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12)
Steven Bernstein, trumpet (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
Briggan Krauss, baritone saxophone (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone (2, 6, 9, 11, 12)
Adam Dorn, synth (4)
The 858 Strings (1, 4, 6-12, 14): Jenny Scheinman, violin; Eyvind Kang, viola; Hank Roberts, cello

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