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Where In the World?

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Album Review

Bill Frisell has long been recognized as possessing one of the most unique voices in jazz guitar. On Where in the World?, he is joined by his frequent compatriots Joey Baron and Kermit Driscoll, as well as cellist Hank Roberts, for ten compositions that catch Frisell right on the cusp of his earlier days and his later, more melody-driven, work. As expected, the supporting cast is excellent, with Joey Baron especially making notable contributions. His solo on "Child at Heart" is a perfect analog to the spirit of Frisell's music, pairing the completely expected with the completely unexpected. A pervading sense of melancholy and unrest runs through Where in the World?, creating tension even when the music is at its quietest. Some of this music is downright spooky. "Unsung Heroes," for example, opens with an ominous drum groove from Baron before introducing a wailing theme doubled by Roberts and Frisell over a twisted, almost bluesy, bass ostinato. This tendency to pair beautiful melodies with dense, introspective harmony works better on Where in the World? than anywhere else in Frisell's extremely strong catalog. As for the guitarist's own playing, it is as beautiful as always. He floats ethereal melodies seemingly with the same ease (and, more importantly, from the same coherent musical mindset) as he lets loose feedback-drenched wails. One of the high points of '90s jazz guitar, Where in the World? is essential for fans of modern jazz.

Customer Reviews

I'll always love this one

Brooding but happy? Strangely melodic? Perfect for an early morning after an all-nighter? Cello, drums and Frisell...This is the one that sold me on Frisell, and remained my favorite until Nashville!

Biography

Born: March 18, 1951 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The defining characteristic of any given jazz musician is frequently his sound. The more control a player has over the nature of that sound, the more likely he is to project a distinctive musical personality. For example, a saxophonist has virtually unlimited physical control of the sound that comes through his horn, and therefore a wide range of tonal expression at his command, which partially explains the disproportionate number of saxophonists in the pantheon of great jazz musicians. On the other...
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Where In the World?, Bill Frisell
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