The Squid's Ear Magazine


Akchote / Halvorson / Frisell: Loving Highsmith [2 CDs] (Ayler Records)

The soundtrack to the documentary Loving Highsmith about thriller novelist Patricia Highsmith, with music composed by Belgium guitarist Noël Akchoté along with pieces by Cole Porter, Mancini, Johnny Mercer, Frank Sinatra, Hildegard von Bingen, Carl Fischer, &c, presented in two CDs, one each of duets between Akchoté and New York guitarists Mary Halvorson and Bill Frisell.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Noel Akchote-electric guitar, acoustic guitar

Mary Halvorson-electric guitar

Bill Frisell-electric guitars


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UPC: 3473351400398

Label: Ayler Records
Catalog ID: aylCD-173-174
Squidco Product Code: 31786

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at The Rabbitfield, in Hoboken, Belgium, on January 4-5, 2020, and November 26-27, 2019, by Christophe Albertijn; further recordings made in August 2020, at the artist's homes.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Loving Highsmith is a documentary about the thriller writer Patricia Highsmith, released in January 2022 and directed by Eva Vitija-Scheidegger. Noël Akchoté provided the soundtrack. There are two CDs for two duets, and each CD has the perfect partner: Disc #1 has Mary Halvorson, and Disc #2 has Bill Frisell. The result is as you can expect-excellent!

With a sound as clear, electric, serene, and fully controlled, these masters knit canvases like snapshots, images that accumulate and follow one another as naturally and poetically as a photo album. The music is so simply present that you can imagine turning around and seeing them playing right there, next to you, just for you."-Best of Jazz



All original film music composed by Noël Akchoté except:

#12 by Jim Hall.

15, 17, 22, 24 & 25 by Noël Akchoté & Mary Halvorson (BMI).

14 by Cole Porter.

18 by Victor Schertzinger & Johnny Mercer.

20 by Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer.

23 by John Klenner & Sam M. Lewis.

42 by Frank Sinatra, Jack Wolf & Joel Herron.

43 by Carl Fischer & Bill Carey.

44 & 46 by Hildegard von Bingen.

"Death is Only a Dream" written by

A.J. Buchanan & Rev. Charles Walker Ray.



Mary Halvorson sessions recorded January 4-5, 2020 at The Rabbitfield, Antwerp, Belgium, by Christophe Albertijn.

Bill Frisell sessions recorded during August 2020 by Noël Akchoté & Bill Frisell in their respective homes.

Solo takes recorded November 26-27, 2019

by Christophe Albertijn at The Rabbitfield, Antwerp, Belgium.

Mixed and mastered by Christophe Albertijn.



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Best of Jazz

Artist Biographies

"The French guitarist-improvisor Noël Akchoté is a frighteningly competent and active person. He has recorded a lot of music in various styles, he writes about music in the Austrian magazine Skug, he is the owner of a record label, he produces many different groups and participates in various projects. Born in Paris, the 7th december 1968, he started guitar at the age of 8. Soon meeting and studying with artists such as Tal Farlow, Barney Wilen, Chet Baker, Philip Catherine, John Abercrombie. During the early 90's, he started to explore beyond jazz, also playing more experimental and improvised musics. He played in the groups of Henri Texier, Louis Sclavis, Daniel Humair, Jacques Thollot, Sam Rivers as well as with Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, Marc Ribot, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Tim Berne or George Lewis. He collaborated since with David Grubbs, Luc Ferrari, David Sylvian, Jim G. Thirlwell (Steroïd Maximus), Max Nagl's Big Four (Steven Bernstein, Bradley Jones, Joey Baron), Jean-François Pauvros or Dylan Carlson's Earth. Other projects have seen him recording and playing with The Recyclers, Blixa Bargeld, Aki Onda, Phil Minton, Tony Hymas, Katerine, Tetuzi Akiyama, Otomo Yoshihide, Julie Tippets, Mike Cooper, Wolfgang Puschnig, Linda Sharrock, Tom Cora, Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, Nobuyoshi Araki or Daido Moriyama. In 1996 he co founded with Quentin Rollet, the mostly Vinyl label Rectangle (all reissued as downloads​in 2011). During the same period, he produced for the Münich based label Winter & Winter a series of " Audio Films " revisiting a wide range of Chansons & Cabaret traditions (Au Bordel, Cabaret Modern, Toi-Même... featuring Red, Jean-Louis Costes, Han Bennink, Steve Beresford, Sasha Andrès, John Giorno or Kevin Blechdom), as well as unique re- readings of the music of Sonny Sharrock (Sonny II) and Kylie Minogue (So Lucky). He is also featured in various movies as an actor, soundtrack composer or musical director (with Thierry Jousse, Michael Lonsdale, Claire Denis, Lio ...). He also happens to be the older brother of the electro artist SebastiAn (Ed Banger, Daft Punk). In 2011, he signed an exclusive distribution contract with Believe Digital (Worldwide Downloads), issueing since over 100 rare live tracks and previously unreleased studio albums, from which a wide Renaissance and Baroque section raised (Carlo Gesualdo, Guillaume de Machaut, Claudio Monteverdi, Luys Milan,Robert de Visée)."

-Noel Akchote Website (http://www.noelakchote.org/biography)
5/15/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."

-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
5/15/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell played clarinet throughout his childhood in Denver, Colorado. His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material. Later, Bill studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber. Bill moved to the New York City area in 1979 and stayed until 1989. He now lives in Seattle.

"When I was 16, I was listening to a lot of surfing music, a lot of English rock. Then I saw Wes Montgomery and somehow that kind of turned me around. Later, Jim Hall made a big impression on me and I took some lessons with him. I suppose I play the kind of harmonic things Jim would play but with a sound that comes from Jimi Hendrix", Frisell told Wire. Bill also lists Paul Motian, Thelonious Monk, Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and his teacher, Dale Bruning, as musical influences.

Bill recorded his first two albums as a leader on ECM, both produced by Manfred Eicher. Subdued and lyrical in nature, In Line, the first of the ECM recordings, employed both electric and acoustic guitars in a series of solos (including some overdubbing) and duets with bassist Arild Andersen. Second was Rambler, featuring Kenny Wheeler, Bob Stewart, Jerome Harris and Paul Motian. About Rambler, Fanfare said: "Bill Frisell has built a little masterpiece here - not just a showcase for his own instrumental creativity (of which there is much in evidence), but a clever and poetic whole."

Frisell's third album and last for ECM, Lookout For Hope, marked the recording debut of The Bill Frisell Band featuring Hank Roberts, Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron. Produced by Lee Townsend, the album's diverse material - ranging from country swing to reggae, quasi-heavy metal and backbeat rock with a twist to Monk's "Hackensack" - nevertheless possessed the cohesive and unmistakable personality of a working band on to a sound of its own. High Fidelity called it "the fullest showing of Frisell's ability to date, especially his compositional range." The Chicago Tribune said, "Lookout For Hope offers one of the most hopeful signs that contemporary jazz can evolve with dignity, wit and charm."

Before We Were Born, Frisell's debut recording for Nonesuch, featured three musical settings: Peter Scherer and Arto Lindsay produced, co-arranged and performed on three Frisell compositions. "Some Song and Dance", produced by Lee Townsend, is a suite of four pieces performed by Frisell's Band with a saxophone section featuring Julius Hemphill, Billy Drewes and Doug Wieselman. Frisell's "Hard Plains Drifter" is an extended work shaped, produced and arranged by John Zorn and played by the Frisell Band. The New York Times observed: "By following through on the implications of his unfettered sounds, Mr. Frisell has made his best album."

Frisell's second Nonesuch album, Is That You?, features nine original Frisell compositions, one by producer Wayne Horvitz and two cover tunes - "Chain of Fools" and "Days of Wine and Roses". With Frisell playing guitars, bass, banjo, ukulele and even clarinet, Is That You? demonstrated with great clarity his pan-stylistic, yet strangely unified musical world. Musician called the album "a very personal vision, tearing down stylistic barriers with delicacy and sudden bursts of emotion."

Frisell's third album for Nonesuch, Where in the World?, also produced by Wayne Horvitz, was the band's final recording with cellist Hank Roberts. The Philadelphia Inquirer said: "There is nothing standard about Where in the World?...Frisell is not only a master of an unusual guitar-based sonic tapestry, he's one of the few composers capable of writing for an interactive ensemble."

Have a Little Faith, Frisell's 1992 Nonesuch recording, was something of a tribute album. Here, he interpreted the music of a number of American composers whose music had inspired him - Aaron Copland, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Sonny Rollins, Stephen Foster, Charles Ives, Victor Young, Madonna and John Philip Sousa. The extent to which Bill has made this music his own demonstrates the completeness of its link to his own compositional approach. For this recording Frisell's Band was augmented by Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet) and Guy Klucevsek (accordion) and produced by Wayne Horvitz. The San Francisco Bay Guardian said, "Frisell treats each piece with typical earnestness and lyricism, breaking into wrenching distortion and stormy group improv only after breathing the original full of a softly glowing life."

This Land, Frisell's fifth Nonesuch recording, consists of all original material with the band and a horn section of Don Byron (clarinets), Billy Drewes (alto saxophone) and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone). Produced by Lee Townsend, the album readily displays the connection between Frisell's own writing and the composers' work to whom he pays tribute on his previous Have a Little Faith. From the standpoint of synthesizing his celebrated composing and arranging talents with exuberant improvising and spirited band interaction, it is a landmark recording, which prompted this description in Rolling Stone: "Strange meetings of the mysterious and the earthy, the melancholy and the giddy, make perfect sense by Frisell's deliciously warped way of thinking. The warpage is catching on and not a moment too soon."

In 1994, Frisell recorded a pair of recordings of music that he composed for three silent Buster Keaton films - The High Sign, One Week and Go West. The band premiered this music along with the films to a spirited and sold-out audience at St. Ann's in Brooklyn in May '93. The pairing displayed a natural affinity between work of both artists. Their works together possess an undeniable sense of adventure and penchant for the unexpected that only enhances the warmth and humanity of both the musical elements and the films themselves. It has proven to be the rare case where the whole truly transcends the sum of its parts. Of the "Go West" recording , Billboard noted: "With this set of music for the classic Buster Keaton film, "Go West," Bill Frisell has crafted one of his finest, most evocative albums. Evincing his best qualities as both guitarist and composer, he harvests melancholy Americana from deceptively modest, episodic themes. Coloring the scenes with acoustic as well as his trademark electric, Frisell produces strangely cinematic motifs on guitar, and his rhythm cohorts - longtime bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Joey Baron - provide abundant narrative drive." Both albums were produced by Lee Townsend.

Frisell's success with the Keaton films has led him to other film-related projects. He scored the music for Gary Larson's "Tales From the Far Side" animated television special and Daniele Luchetti's Italian feature film, "La Scuola." Some of the music from these projects has been adapted and recorded by Frisell on Quartet, Frisell's Nonesuch recording released in April '96.

The formation of the Quartet, with Ron Miles (trumpet), Eyvind Kang (violin) and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), was a new working band for Frisell, who had worked with the telepathic rhythm combination of Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron for nearly ten years. Frisell told Down Beat: "It's so different from the traditional guitar-bass-drum thing, even though Joey Baron, Kermit Driscoll and I never played like a typical jazz trio. This group, with violin and brass, can play an orchestral range of sounds. It's gigantic. It's given me a chance to write and arrange in an even bigger way." Quartet, was quickly hailed by critics. The New York Times declared: "Quartet may be his masterpiece."

Nonesuch released Nashville in April of 1997. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Wayne Horvitz with members of Allison Krauss' Union Station band - mandolin player Adam Steffey and banjo player Ron Block - the project also features her brother and Lyle Lovett's bass player Viktor Krauss, dobro great Jerry Douglas, vocalist Robin Holcomb and Pat Bergeson on harmonica. "Comprising acoustic instrumental folk tunes with unpredictable stylistic accents, Nashville boasts a dreamy, seductive grandeur. The backing mandolin/dobro/bass interplay simmers - Frisell himself picks and strings and most of all floats, laying out liquid tones that settle over the melodies like heat haze on a swampy, swimmerless lake." wrote the LA Weekly. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution summed it up simply as, "Frisell's nod to Nashville is Americana at its best."

In January of 1998 Frisell's next project Gone, Just Like A Train came out. On this exceptionally melodic and rhythmically vital instrumental collection of original compositions, Frisell is joined by Viktor Krauss and by Jim Keltner, all star drummer of choice for Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, T-Bone Burnett, George Harrison, John Lennon and The Traveling Wilburys. The Rocket in Seattle wrote that "Frisell has managed to pull together an ad hoc super trio of musicians from drastically different pasts, and they manage to assemble a machine of colossal proportions: part skewered jazz, part roadside folk blues, part gritty rock..Gone presents Frisell at a creative apex. He's integrated a thoroughly unique understanding of so much American Music. And it's all gift-wrapped in a lean, unimposing trio framework that conveys sheer genius in a million directions. It flies with shining power." Produced by Lee Townsend, the album proved to be one of Frisell's most celebrated and popular to date.

Good Dog, Happy Man, brims full of Frisell's shimmering original compositions. Here he is reunited with the Gone Just Like a Train rhythm section of Viktor Krauss on bass and Jim Keltner on drums and joined by Wayne Horvitz on Hammond B3 organ, multi-instrumentalist/slide guitarist Greg Leisz (known for his work with Joni Mitchell, K.D. Lang, Emmy Lou Harris, Beck and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, among others) plus special guest Ry Cooder on the traditional folk song "Shenendoah". Produced by Lee Townsend, Good Dog, Happy Man celebrates Frisell's emergence as a composer who has created a genre unto himself. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote: "The 12 breathtakingly beautiful originals on Good Dog, Happy Man resist every obvious classification. Frisell's been doing the undefinable for years - creating revelatory music from threadbare accompaniment; finding vital contexts for jazz improvisation that are worlds away from bebop; burying shiny nuggets of melody beneath a gauzy lace-like surface. Frisell manages to evoke big worlds with stark single notes and foreboding sustained tones, conjuring a richly textured atmosphere that is both understated and undeniable. No matter what you call it." "

-Bill Frisell Website (https://www.billfrisell.com/bio)
5/15/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Death Is Only A Dream (solo Electric) 1:44

2. Fraise 2:36

3. Vu 1:59

4. Pluvier 2:39

5. Colt 2:32

6. Glory 0:53

7. New Rag 2:26

8. Trois Carre 2:03

9. Brat 2:35

10. Les Poissons Rouges 2:19

11. Abler 2:25

12. Careful 2:34

13. Oreste 3:41

14. What Is This Thing Called Love? 1:42

15. Veau-Marengo 3:54

16. Mick 1:33

17. Ortegis 2:43

18. I Remember You 2:58

19. Slow Ph Blues 2:56

20. The Days Of Wine And Roses 2:55

21. Senti 2:30

22. Bultause 2:26

23. Just Friends 1:41

24. Menantium 1:45

25. Wultarsz 4:09

26. Death Is Only A Dream (duo Version) 2:40

CD2



1. Death is Only a Dream (trio version) 2:42

2. Can I V.? #1 3:51

3. All I Have To Say 3:56

4. Dunja 3:03

5. Distant 3:10

6. Dames Galantes 3:23

7. Rosie 3:47

8. Goldoni 3:05

9. Colt 3:41

10. Glad 4:08

11. Oreste 2:37

12. Can I V.? #3 (alternate) 4:35

13. Dames Galantes #3 (alternate) 2:48

14. Rosie #4 (alternate) 3:22

15. Oreste #2 (alternate) 4:59

16. I'm A Fool To Want You 2:16

17. You've Changed 2:10

18. Karitas Habundat 1:21

19. Boors 0:35

20. Laus Trinitati 1:56

21. Blues For Sarah (for Sarah Murcia) 3:34

22. Death Is Only A Dream (solo Acoustic) 1:46

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