Bill Frisell @ Musical Instrument Museum

In every musical idiom there are performers who transcend the genre and, at times, the music itself. Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell ranks among them. In fact, to call him a jazz musician is in itself limiting, as Frisell — who began playing surf music as a teen and later worked with John Zorn and other jazz visionaries — stretches easily beyond jazz, but in such a manner that often defies categorization in a confoundingly good way. Frisell's subtlety is his strength, the way he seems to bend his aura, guitar, and tone around every set musical idea and concept to forge a fresh identity that is constantly shifting, reaching, and stretching for some new end of the rainbow of imagination. Of course, that end never comes, and Frisell, undaunted, keeps journeying onward. It's jaw-dropping how he does it. With his current tour focus, the ghost of John Lennon should feel blessed to be, uh, re-imagined, by Frisell. Melodies hail from a familiar place, but also somewhere strange and beautiful. In fact, many of the compositions Frisell re-envisioned for All We Are Saying contain the slightest hint of the original, which is the wondrous hidden beauty of it all. Don't miss it.


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