Bill Frisell

An amazing, diverse guitarist who combines the best elements rock energy with jazz harmonic sophistication. His melodic interpretations are stunning. A jazz musician’s most important characteristic is often his sound. A player’s ability to control the sound of his instrument will make it more likely that he can project a unique musical personality. A saxophonist, for example, has almost unlimited physical control over the sound coming through his horn and can therefore make a wide range in tonal expressions, which partly explains why there are so few saxophonists among the great jazz musicians. However, electric guitarists are rare in that area, partly because the sound of a jazz guitar is very similar from one player to the next. Guitarists generally do not have the same level of control. They are relegated to the sound of the amp without signal processing, which jazz purists detest. Guitarists are known for their “sounding” almost the same. Bill Frisell is an exception. Frisell’s ability to use variable timbre is a rare trait among jazz guitarists. Frisell’s sound is reminiscent of a saxophonist. (Interestingly, Frisell was a clarinet player as a child). His sound recalls a pedal steel guitar in many ways. His music is heavily influenced by jazz but Frisell is also a man with Catholic values. His music has elements of country, bluegrass, and rock. This freedom explains Frisell’s willingness to broaden his musical palette beyond the standard jazz guitarist. Frisell’s unique sound has made him a prominent jazz guitarist, where many others define themselves by the number of notes they can play. He is a gifted lyricist of melody and songwriter, making him one of the most unique musicians of his generation. Born in Baltimore, Frisell was raised in Denver, Colorado. In fourth grade, he began to play the clarinet and he later took up the guitar for amusement. He played the clarinet in school concerts and marched with bands. Frisell briefly considered playing the classical clarinet professionally. He was a guitarist in rock and R.

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