Guitarist Bill Frisell's first-ever appearance as the featured soloist on a big band session, performing with British composer and arranger Michael Gibbs and his NDR Bigband for a tour de force album playing over arrangements of compositions drawn from his career.
Gibbs, Michael & the NDR Bigband featuring Bill Frisell
Play a Bill Frisell Setlist
Released in: USA
"As a dauntingly prolific artist, Bill Frisell has recorded in a vast array of settings, but he's never made an album like Play a Bill Frisell Set List. Captured live in concert with the superb NDR Bigband, the guitarist delivers a tour de force performance on a program of ingenious arrangements designed specifically for him and the NDR by Michael Gibbs.
Recorded at the Überjazz Festival with the NDR Bigband on Oct 26, 2013, Play a Bill Frisell Set List captures Frisell interacting with one of the world's great jazz orchestras, exploring sleek, spacious, vividly expressive arrangements of compositions drawn from throughout his career. Gibbs didn't plan the concert as a recording session, but after many years of trying to bring Frisell and the NDR together he felt the results were too good to keep under wraps. "Jeff Ballard playing drums for this concert was a dream, and the band really enjoyed playing it, so the music was magical," Gibbs says. "I couldn't resist the opportunity to release it."
It's difficult to overstate Gibbs' impact on the trajectory of Frisell's music and career. As a Denver teenager, Frisell convinced his father to take him to a touring Newport Jazz Festival show at Red Rocks in the summer of 1968 and the experience radically opened his ears. "It was an amazing program, with Gary Burton with Bob Moses, Coryell, and Steve Swallow, and they blew my brains out," Frisell recalls. "I'd never heard anything like it. So I started getting those records, and there's some guy named Mike Gibbs who wrote half the songs on these records. He had so much to do with that sound, making a world for that group to inhabit."
Frisell started following Gibbs' music, and was thrilled to discover that he was composer-in-residence at Berklee when he enrolled in 1975. He took all of the classes that Gibbs offered and was tremendously encouraged when Gibbs complimented his playing after catching Frisell's group at a gig.
By 1978 Frisell had relocated to Belgium to focus on his music, which meant he was well placed to step in when Gibbs needed a guitarist for a tour of the UK. The group included the German bassist Eberhard Weber, with whom Frisell would play a duo at every concert. The connection he forged with the bassist on this tour led to Frisell's participation on Weber's 1979 album Fluid Rustle, the first of the dozens of recordings that Frisell would do on ECM as a sideman and leader, and where his career truly started!
Play a Bill Frisell Set List is Bill Frisell's first-ever appearance as the featured soloist on a big band session, and with Gibbs' melodically verdant, harmonically suggestive arrangements, he's not likely to find a better set list than Set List.
Brit-jazz composer and arranger Michael Gibbs was born in 1937 in Zimbabwe. Starting in 1959, he studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory , Tanglewood and the Lenox School of Music, where he studied with a who's who of contemporary jazz and modern composition: George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Iannis Xenakis, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and others. In 1964 he moved to the UK, where he engaged himself in the rapidly emerging contemporary UK jazz scene. Starting in the late 60s and continuing into the mid 70s, he recorded a number of highly acclaimed and influential albums featuring many of the most prominent British-based jazz players who, like Michael, were beginning to flirt with jazz/rock. Since the mid 70s he has worked as a educator as well as a free-lance arranger, doing arrangements and orchestrations for major names such as Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Peter Gabriel among many others, while too infrequently recording his own music."-Cuneiform
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London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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Catalog ID: CUN-CD-400
Squidco Product Code: 20890
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded At the Uber Jazz Festival in Hamburg, Germany on October 26th, 2013 my Michael Plotz.
Michael Gibbs-composer, performer
The NDR Bigband
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1. Throughout 8:30
2. Las Vegas Tango 7:12
3. Subconscious Lee 8:27
4. On the Lookout / Far Away 7:55
5. Misterioso 5:21
6. Monica Jane 7:06
7. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away 7:52
8. Benny's Bugle 5:17
9. Freddy's Step 3:31