Bill Frisell | Biography
In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell has established himself as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers, and legendary musicians.
Frisell’s recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including twenty recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream ); adaptations of his compositions originally written as soundtracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet ); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith ) ; and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog, Happy Man). Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo record Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy in 2004, is an album that combines Frisell’s own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, entitled Unspeakable, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. East/West is a two-CD set, featuring his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts. His most recent album is Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian, featuring two jazz legends that Bill considers among his true mentors and musical inspirations.
In December 2006, Bill was named a USA Rasmuson Fellow and became a recipient of a grant offered by United States Artists, a privately funded organization dedicated to the support of America's finest living artists.