Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones
For over 20 years Bill Frisell has been producing some of the finest jazz recordings on the planet. As a guitarist he is a true pioneer, championing looping and odd guitar tones long before they became the rage. Here, he collaborates with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Elvin Jones. You might expect a far-flung experiment in tonality and rhythm, but instead of breaking new ground, this eponymous CD works mostly in traditional forms, including a version of Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times” and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.” Frisell has been fascinated with American musical forms for years and it shows in his compositions here, essentially blues without the restraint of the 1-4-5 pattern. Occasionally some guitar looping emerges, but mostly this trio swings to the sound of the blues. With any other group of musicians, it may have fallen flat, but with these jazz masters, it is a magical experience.