Tuesday, April 13, 2010
You might not be familiar with Bill Frisell, but you've likely heard of a few of his business partners: Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega and director Gus van Sant have all collaborated with the guitarist, who’s been quietly racking up the accolades since 1983.
His affecting blend of something that’s not quite rock, jazz or country has garnered comparisons to the melodic mastery, both technical and emotional, of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and lingers in the psyche long after your first listen.
His most recent album, "Disfarmer," is as beautiful and mysterious as the man who inspired it: the late Mike Disfarmer, a surly eccentric who chronicled the denizens of his small Arkansas town via grainy black-and-white photographs during the 1940’s and 50’s.
As with most ahead of their time, Disfarmer’s discarded photographs weren’t fully appreciated until decades later, when they caught the eye of a friend of Frisell’s, Chuck Helm, the director of the Performing Arts at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio. Helm had a hunch that Frisell would be inspired by the images, and the rest is, well, musical history (literally).
Below, we found a video of some of Disfarmer’s work, set to Frisell’s eponymous tune.
You can catch Frisell performing songs from "Disfarmer" and his other albums tomorrow at Anthology, alongside pianist Jason Moran and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Want a preview of his stage presence? Click here and here to watch past performances.