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Blues Dream

  • 79615

News & Reviews

  • Ahead of the long-awaited world premiere of Omar, the opera composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, next Friday, Giddens has released her own recording of the song “Julie’s Aria” from the opera. The recording was made by Giddens with guitarist Bill Frisell and her frequent collaborator Francesco Turrisi. Omar is based on the life and autobiography of enslaved Muslim scholar Omar Ibn Said, who was forcefully brought to Charleston from Africa in 1807. “My work as a whole is about excavating and shining a light on pieces of history that not only need to be seen and heard," Giddens says, "but that can also add to the conversation about what’s going on now. This is a story that hasn’t been represented in the operatic world—or in any world.” Omar will also be performed by LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

  • Cornetist, composer, and educator Ron Miles died at his home in Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday, March 8, due to complications from polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder, at the age 58. He can be heard on several Nonesuch recordings, performing with Joshua Redman on the 2018 Grammy-nominated album Still Dreaming and with Bill Frisell on History, Mystery (2008), Blues Dream (2001), and Quartet (1996).

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  • About This Album

    Bill Frisell’s Blues Dream is a colorful reinvention of the musical ideas expressed in his preceding Nonesuch releases Good Dog, Happy Man (1999) and Gone, Just Like a Train (1998). The new album marks the recorded debut of Frisell’s septet, featuring the members of his New Quartet: multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Emmylou Harris, Beck) on pedal steel, lap steel, National steel guitar, Scheerhorn resonator guitar, and mandolin; David Piltch on bass; and Kenny Wollesen on drums. The quartet is augmented by a horn section comprised of longtime Frisell sidemen, saxophonist Billy Drewes, trumpeter Ron Miles, and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes.

    The follow-up to the intimate solo guitar album Ghost Town (2000), Blues Dream presents Frisell’s music painted across a much larger canvas, tying together strands that have been running throughout several of his most recent offerings. In the preceding years, he had been working on a number of different projects, "playing with different people that I didn’t know and instruments I’d never played with,” he says. “On Good Dog, Happy Man I met Greg Leisz; that was the first time I’d ever played with him. I started feeling like I was getting into having a more regular group, like a language and communication was beginning to gel with these people.” Leisz brought his frequent collaborator Piltch (Holly Cole, Blood Sweat & Tears) to Frisell’s attention, while Wollesen is one of New York’s most respected drummers and a member of Frisell’s working Trio.

    The music on Blues Dream combines the homespun lyricism of Frisell’s recent records with the expanded tonal palette and harmonic sophistication afforded by a larger group, something he had explored as far back as his first Nonesuch recording, Before We Were Born (1989). “Every few years or so, I have a little working group, and then I get the urge to expand it a little. The center of this record, for me, is the regular quartet I’ve been working with, and the horns are people that have been involved in all sorts of things I’ve done.” Far from serving as mere window dressing, the horn section is fully integrated into the band’s arrangements. “The arranging is a way for me to illustrate and expand what’s going on, like things that I do all the time with just my guitar. It’s a way of clarifying what I’m doing.”

    The 18 tunes on Blues Dream, all new compositions commissioned by the Walker Arts Center, include evocative miniatures and musical portraits of friends and further cement Frisell’s reputation as a composer who has created a genre unto himself. He combines elements of jazz, folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and more into a unique sound that the Los Angeles Weekly has dubbed “as unmistakably American as that of Charles Ives or Duke Ellington.” Blues Dream is Bill Frisell’s 14th recording for Nonesuch.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Bill Frisell, electric and acoustic guitars, loops
    Greg Leisz, pedal steel, lap steel, National steel guitar, Scheerhorn resonator guitar, mandolin
    Ron Miles, trumpet
    Billy Drewes, alto saxophone
    Curtis Fowlkes, trombone
    David Piltch, bass
    Kenny Wollesen, drums, percussion

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Lee Townsend
    Recorded at O'Henry Sound Studios, Burbank
    Recording and Mixing Engineer: Judy Clapp
    Assistant Engineers: Tim Lauber and Jeff Shannon
    Mixed at Different Fur Recording, San Francisco
    Assistant and Editing Engineer: Adam Muñoz
    Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

    All compositions by Bill Frisell

    Design by Barbara deWilde
    Cover photograph: Petit’s Mobil Station, Cherry Hill, NJ (1974) by George Tice, from the collection of the Montclair Art Museum

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nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
genre: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 05:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

Frisell organizes a new septet of old friends, including Kenny Wollesen (drums) and Greg Leisz (pedal steel). “Sometimes the ensemble achieves a kind of orchestral grandeur,” declares The Guardian (UK). “Other times they settle down to play the blues.”

Description: 

Bill Frisell’s Blues Dream is a colorful reinvention of the musical ideas expressed in his preceding Nonesuch releases Good Dog, Happy Man (1999) and Gone, Just Like a Train (1998). The new album marks the recorded debut of Frisell’s septet, featuring the members of his New Quartet: multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Emmylou Harris, Beck) on pedal steel, lap steel, National steel guitar, Scheerhorn resonator guitar, and mandolin; David Piltch on bass; and Kenny Wollesen on drums. The quartet is augmented by a horn section comprised of longtime Frisell sidemen, saxophonist Billy Drewes, trumpeter Ron Miles, and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes.

The follow-up to the intimate solo guitar album Ghost Town (2000), Blues Dream presents Frisell’s music painted across a much larger canvas, tying together strands that have been running throughout several of his most recent offerings. In the preceding years, he had been working on a number of different projects, "playing with different people that I didn’t know and instruments I’d never played with,” he says. “On Good Dog, Happy Man I met Greg Leisz; that was the first time I’d ever played with him. I started feeling like I was getting into having a more regular group, like a language and communication was beginning to gel with these people.” Leisz brought his frequent collaborator Piltch (Holly Cole, Blood Sweat & Tears) to Frisell’s attention, while Wollesen is one of New York’s most respected drummers and a member of Frisell’s working Trio.

The music on Blues Dream combines the homespun lyricism of Frisell’s recent records with the expanded tonal palette and harmonic sophistication afforded by a larger group, something he had explored as far back as his first Nonesuch recording, Before We Were Born (1989). “Every few years or so, I have a little working group, and then I get the urge to expand it a little. The center of this record, for me, is the regular quartet I’ve been working with, and the horns are people that have been involved in all sorts of things I’ve done.” Far from serving as mere window dressing, the horn section is fully integrated into the band’s arrangements. “The arranging is a way for me to illustrate and expand what’s going on, like things that I do all the time with just my guitar. It’s a way of clarifying what I’m doing.”

The 18 tunes on Blues Dream, all new compositions commissioned by the Walker Arts Center, include evocative miniatures and musical portraits of friends and further cement Frisell’s reputation as a composer who has created a genre unto himself. He combines elements of jazz, folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and more into a unique sound that the Los Angeles Weekly has dubbed “as unmistakably American as that of Charles Ives or Duke Ellington.” Blues Dream is Bill Frisell’s 14th recording for Nonesuch.

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Lee Townsend
Recorded at O'Henry Sound Studios, Burbank
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Judy Clapp
Assistant Engineers: Tim Lauber and Jeff Shannon
Mixed at Different Fur Recording, San Francisco
Assistant and Editing Engineer: Adam Muñoz
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

All compositions by Bill Frisell

Design by Barbara deWilde
Cover photograph: Petit’s Mobil Station, Cherry Hill, NJ (1974) by George Tice, from the collection of the Montclair Art Museum

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79615

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
38
ns_album_id: 
406
ns_album_releasedate: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 05:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597961522BUN
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597961560
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Bill Frisell
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Bill Frisell, electric and acoustic guitars, loops
Greg Leisz, pedal steel, lap steel, National steel guitar, Scheerhorn resonator guitar, mandolin
Ron Miles, trumpet
Billy Drewes, alto saxophone
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone
David Piltch, bass
Kenny Wollesen, drums, percussion

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