Album: Bill Frisell, Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet (Savoy Jazz)

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The Independent Culture

On Sign of Life, Frisell offers fragments of haunting melodies that seem to hang like mist; some have affiliations in folk and country music, some in jazz, some in classical; and they're all played by a string quartet in which one of the violins is replaced by Frisell's guitar, the players allowed to extemporise around the melodies as they see fit.

The results are midway between classical and jazz: on "Friend of Mine (1)" the repeated dabs of strings are like cirrus clouds; "Wonderland" features motifs repeated calmly in minimalist manner; and the two versions of "It's a Long Story" seem to trace the melodic evidence back to "People Get Ready" and "Blow the Wind Southerly", respectively.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Friend of Mine (1); Wonderland; It's a Long Story (1) & (2)