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Unspeakable

  • 79828

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  • 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

    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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on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
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: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Bill Frisell
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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