Sunna Gunnlaugs

The Ingenious Music of Bill Frisell

February 8, 2010 1:36 pm | Filed under: Music | Comments (3)
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I belong to a collective trio called Frisell Projekt. It was initiated by my hubby, drummer Scott McLemore a few years ago and also includes bassist Róbert Þórhallsson. As the group name indicates we focus on music by guitarist Bill Frisell. The neat thing is that we are a guitar-less trio and I mostly play my vintage wurlitzer electric piano. When we first started rehearsing this music it was so intriguing to find ways to transfer his arrangements to our instrumentation. It really makes me and Róbert think differently. I may have a melody part in my right hand, another melody part in my left hand while he is playing a bass groove and chordal accompaniment. Scott has it easy… just hitting some drums.

The wonderful thing about Frisell's music is the variety of styles it embraces… rag time, world music, bluegrass, jazz… you name it. It's just not your typical jazz music although there is plenty of room for improvisation. We've had really wonderful responses from people the few times we've played this music publicly and everyone always seems so pleasantly surprised. There is a lot of sincerity and joy in Frisell's playing that I hope we manage to express also.

Frisell Projekt will be performing this Friday, February 12 at 10pm Icelandic time, at Kaffe Kultúra on Hverfisgata in Reykjavik. We are looking into the possibility of broadcasting our performance over the internet and I really hope we can make it work. In the meantime you can enjoy a video of us rehearsing the shortest tune on the program, Unscientific Americans. Frisell Projekt is also on myspace, with Frisell's permission. Oh, by the way, we are not endorsed by Pepsi Max.

3 Responses to “The Ingenious Music of Bill Frisell”

  1. Matt Stevens says:

    Great Video – Frisell is amazing,(glad you're not endorsed by pepsi max)

  2. Well, I don't think "has it easy" applies here. Normally, yes. But with Frisell's music, at least some of it, requires all the focus I've got.

    Looking forward to playing again!

  3. Steve Lawson says:

    Just listening to the tunes on the Myspace page – fabulous. Really lovely arrangements, great to hear those tunes stripped of the guitar-ness of the originals. Great choice of tunes too! all favourites of mine (though I think everything of Frisell's is a favourite of mine… need to have a rethink of the concept of favourites :) )

    Anyway, magic stuff, I hope I get to see you play it all live one day

    Sx

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