I thought I would do something a little different for Review Revue this week (I think I might have done this before, but it was a long time ago and I’m too lazy to go clicking through and verify). Today’s album cover is a CD, and as such just a few gushing, glowing reviews covered up its already somewhat mysterious cover art. Based on the picture and reviews of this local release, can you guess what it is?
“Another brilliant, wonderful work from Bill Frisell! [OK, so that narrows it down to about 30-something possible CDs.] Trading bass & drums for violin (by Seattle’s Eyvind Kang), trombone, & trumpet does little to change the feel of his unique compositions, but there is less improvisation. Unique ‘Americana.’ TRY: Any or all of it.”
“I think it’s his best yet!”
“I think it’s even better than his best yet.”
“Wow - w/Eyvind Kang!”
This 1996 album, Bill Frisell’s Quartet, was in very heavy rotation for me for the last five years of the 20th century (I served many, many people coffee with Quartet as the soundtrack), and remains a personal favorite. The lineup is composed of Bill Frisell and Eyvind Kang, as mentioned above, along with Curtis Fowlkes on trombone and Ron Miles on trumpet. I had no idea that Frisell and Kang lived in Seattle at the time, but I was thrilled when I realized I was moving to their territory back in 2001. Weirdly, I haven’t seen Frisell perform in person since I moved here, though I have seen the incredibly talented Eyvind Kang play in various configurations - and you’ve probably heard his string arrangements behind such luminaries as Laura Veirs, The Decemberists, Red Jacket Mine, The Stares, and Mike Dumovich. Oh, and he has a new album out called The Narrow Garden, which I’ll be putting on as soon as I’m done with this spin of Quartet. I still feel very lucky to live in a city that boasts such fine musicians.