Revered guitarist Bill Frisell has previewed Harmony, his upcoming first album in his own name for Blue Note, with the lead track ‘Everywhere,’ available for streaming and download now.
The atmospheric cut previews a project that came out of a commission from the FreshGrass Music Festival, which is dedicated to the vitality of contemporary American roots music. Produced by longtime collaborator Lee Townsend, it also features two more long-standing allies in Petra Haden on vocals and Hank Roberts on cello and vocals. A newer compatriot, Luke Bergman, features on acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, bass and vocals.
The album features new writing as well as material reimagined from Frisell’s catalogue and interpretations of staples of jazz and Americana. These include Lerner and Loewe’s ‘On The Street Where You Live,’ Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ and a closing rendition of Pete Seeger’s ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’.
“If I think back throughout my whole life, all the music that I’ve loved,” says Frisell, “why can’t it all be there at the same time? You can play a Bob Dylan song and you can play a standard song or a Charlie Parker song, and they can fit together. Why not? There’s no reason why you can’t have ‘Lush Life’ and [the traditional] ‘Red River Valley’ on the same album. They’re both beautiful songs.”
Although he hasn’t recorded for Blue Note in his own name before, Frisell’s connections to the famed jazz label go all the way back to his appearance on John Scofield’s 1992 album Grace Under Pressure. He has also played on such Blue Note releases as Don Byron’s Romance With The Unseen, Ron Carter’s Orfeu, Norah Jones’ multi-million-selling Come Away With Me, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels’ I Long To See You and Vanished Gardens, featuring Lucinda Williams), and in the collective Floratone, with drummer Matt Chamberlain and producers Lee Townsend and Tucker Martine.
Harmony is released on 4 October. Scroll down for the tracklisting, and pre-order it here.
1. Everywhere (Music by Bill Frisell)
2. God’s Wing’d Horse (Music by Bill Frisell / Words by Julie Miller)
3. Fifty Years (Music by Bill Frisell)
4. Hard Times (Words & Music by Stephen Foster)
5. Deep Dead Blue (Music by Bill Frisell / Words by Elvis Costello)
6. There In A Dream (Music by Charlie Haden / Words by Jesse Harris)
7. Lonesome (Music by Bill Frisell)
8. On The Street Where You Live (Music by Alan Jay Lerner / Words by Frederick Loewe)
9. How Many Miles? (Music by Bill Frisell)
10. Lush Life (Words and Music by Billy Strayhorn)
11. Honest Man (Music by Bill Frisell)
12. Red River Valley (Traditional)
13. Curiosity (Music by Bill Frisell)
14. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? (Words and music by Pete Seeger)