Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Bill Frisell’s “Small Town” as a one-minute song and a nine-minute improvisation

The title track of guitarist Bill Frisell's duo album with bassist Thomas Morgan, "Small Town" (2017), first appeared on Frisell's "Disfarmer" (2009), with Greg Leisz, Jenny Scheinman, and Viktor Krauss. The original recording is 1:01 long: Frisell plays an acoustic melody that sounds like the first verse of a folk song, followed by a melodic fragment even briefer than a couplet. The live version with Morgan is 8:58 long; Frisell turns that simple form on the electric guitar into a vehicle for improvisation that keeps the folk-song feeling and quietly evolves into a Morgan solo. With a slightly heavier tone, Frisell returns to the melody and lets the tune drift out. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 April 2023)


Note: Frisell and Morgan will be playing in Basel on Sunday, 23 April 2023.

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