Acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell has released “Keep Your Eyes Open,” the second single to be revealed from his forthcoming Blue Note album, Valentine, featuring his trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston.
“Keep Your Eyes Open,” which originally appeared on Frisell’s 1997 album Nashville, is accompanied by a new video by Monica Jane Frisell, which you can check out below.
Valentine will be released by Blue Note Records on August 14. Produced by his long-time collaborator Lee Townsend and recorded by Tucker Martine at Flora Recording in Portland, Oregon, it’s a 13-song set that mixes Frisell originals new and old, jazz standards, traditional songs, and covers. The album explores the creative freedom of the trio format and the profound relationship that exists between these three musicians after years of touring.
Frisell says, “This album is all about Rudy and Thomas and the musical relationship I have with them. We’ve played a lot for a number of years, but there was no evidence of it, so I really wanted to have a document of it, if only to show that it’s real and not this magical thing that I’ve imagined in my fantasies.”
Author David Hadju writes In the liner notes for the album that Valentine “is not only a gem-cut specimen of the trio art, but a vivid demonstration of the capacity of masters like Frisell, in the manner of Ellington, to push themselves, their collaborators, and their audiences to unexpected heights through the ever-restless force of their creativity.”
DownBeat awarded Valentine a 5-star “Masterpiece” rating in their August issue, with reviewer J.D. Considine writing “Even though the selections on Valentine hail from a range of styles the performances represent jazz playing at its most sublime,” and praising how the trio “consistently and strikingly play as one, voices intertwined, completing phrases as if sharing a single thought.”
Guitar World called the album’s lead single “We Shall Overcome” “about as beautiful an instrumental as you’ll ever hear. Frisell’s leads are nothing short of a work of art, letting the powerful melody take up as much space as it needs.” In JazzTimes’ July/August cover feature on the guitarist, Mac Randall calls Valentine “a Frisellian mix of down-home and moody, abstract and endearingly direct.”
Valentine is out on August 14 and can be pre-ordered here.