Bill Frisell On JazzSet Guitarist Bill Frisell shines in three very different settings: with his band reworking John Lennon tunes, in a duo with violinist Jenny Scheinman, and with The Bad Plus playing music of Paul Motian.

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Bill Frisell On JazzSetWBGO

Bill Frisell On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/172001407/248946743" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

On a video promoting Bill Frisell's album All We Are Saying, the guitarist shares the depth of his connection to John Lennon's music: "I don't know if I'd be playing guitar if it weren't for The Beatles." Frisell tells the story of how, several tours ago, a European presenter asked Frisell's band to play a Lennon set. Afterwards, the players looked at each other and said, "Let's do this for the whole tour!" It became the blueprint for the album. In performance, they don't work from a set list; Frisell trusts the band. His guitar sets up the songs, which flow from one to the next with almost no breaks. Frisell is at the center; pedal-steel player Greg Leisz is audience left.

Jenny Scheinman has worked in Frisell's band for a decade. In addition to performing a duo set of Scheinman's music for fiddle and guitar, she's in the band for the Lennon set. Her own quartet Mischief and Mayhem, with Nels Cline from Wilco, played live from the Village Vanguard two seasons ago.

By now, the members of The Bad Plus have stayed together longer than The Beatles. The trio came out of the Upper Midwest more than a decade ago, and has released a new album almost every year since. The Bad Plus and Bill Frisell share a deep appreciation for Paul Motian (1931-2011), a free-tempo drummer, bandleader, friend and role model for so many younger musicians. Frisell and Motian played on each other's records, beginning with Motian's It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago. At Newport, Frisell joins The Bad Plus for a performance of the title tune. In spite of all the distractions that come with playing outdoors, the song is spellbinding; the audience claps for almost a minute. We trimmed the applause, but the emotion is intact.

Set List And Personnel

Jenny Scheinman, violin; Bill Frisell, guitar

  • "Rag" (Frisell)
  • "Thirteen Days" (Scheinman)

Frisell, guitar; Jenny Scheinman, violin; Greg Leisz, pedal steel; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wolleson, drums

  • "Beautiful Boy" (Lennon)
  • "Come Together" (Lennon & Paul McCartney)
  • "In My Life" (Lennon & McCartney)

The Bad Plus: Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Anderson, bass; Dave King, drums; Frisell, guitar

  • "It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago" (Motian)
  • "Abacus" (Motian)

Credits

Recordings by Antonio Oliart of WGBH, David Tallacksen with Michael Downes of WBGO, and Steve Remote of Aurasonic Ltd. Surround Sound remixes by Antonio Oliart and Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Mark Guiliana Justin Bettman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Justin Bettman/Courtesy of the artist

The Artistic Duality Of Drummer Mark Guiliana

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Explore two sides of Mark Guiliana's creative brain, with two different sounding bands, from two hemispheres of the globe: The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet from Amsterdam and Beat Music from Brooklyn.

Host Christian McBride and Saxophonist Lou Donaldson in Florida. Katie Simon/WBGO hide caption

toggle caption Katie Simon/WBGO

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Host Christian McBride sits down with saxophonist Lou Donaldson to talk about Lou's life as a performer, his thoughts on jazz today and how hip-hop brought new ears to his music.

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/733992956/734463789" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Turtle Island String Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Turtle Island Quartet Joins Cyrus Chestnut With Global Gospel Offering

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Watch Carry Me Home, a program from Turtle Island, the hardest working string quartet in jazz, and their latest collaborator, pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

Turtle Island Quartet Joins Cyrus Chestnut With Global Gospel Offering

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/729918599/730429366" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joe Lovano. Craig Lovell/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Craig Lovell/Courtesy of the artist

Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Every December, saxophonist Joe Lovano travels home to Cleveland to throw himself a birthday concert. We hear tales of Lovano family lore, and a get a slice of his musical past and present.

Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/723488456/723984007" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Bassist Christian McBride (left) and Blues artist Joey DeFrancesco (right). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

A Reunion Of Brotherly Love: Joey DeFrancesco Traces His Roots

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Christian McBride interviews one of his oldest friends, organist Joey DeFrancesco, in their hometown of Philadelphia.

A Reunion Of Brotherly Love: Joey DeFrancesco Traces His Roots

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/687886485/688249013" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top