Floratone, a four-member collective, is comprised of guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Matt Chamberlain. It also includes producers/engineers Lee Townsend, Tucker Martine, and Tucker Martine, all of whom have extensive resumes. They have, over the past 21 years, cultivated the same collaborative spirit that brought Miles Davis and producer Teo Macero together on landmark recordings like Bitches Brew or On the Corner. However, their music is entirely in another realm. Floratone was born in 2005 as a long-planned, but informal marathon improv jam session. Townsend, Martine took the tapes of the session, trimmed and focused them, and added special effects such as loops, samples and other ambient sounds. The tapes were then painstakingly converted into eleven songs. The results were so satisfying that Frisell returned the tapes and added string and horn parts to the tunes. He hired Ron Miles, a trumpeter, and Eyvind Kang, a violist/violinist to perform the tunes. Union Station’s Viktor Krauss was also added upright bass. Chamberlain also added additional tracks of percussion to the bottom end. The result was the Floratone album. It was released on Blue Note in 2007. Chamberlain and Frisell tried again to improvise together in 2009. Chamberlain was armed with additional guitars, effects pedals, and gear. Frisell set up several drum sets, each one tuned and outfitted differently. The pair came up with 13 songs after they turned the tapes over to the producers. Frisell used Miles and Kang again, but employed bassist Mike Elizondo on electric as well as upright bass, and brought in producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion to add various keyboards and samples. Savoy issued Floratone II in March 2012.

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