The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Review: Jim Hall and Bill Frisell, Hemispheres

Artist Share (2009)
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 12, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars


What makes Hemispheres such a successful collaboration is not that Jim Hall and Bill Frisell meet in the middle but that they start there and extend outward.

On the surface it would seem the two guitarists should have little to say to each other. Frisell is an inveterate experimenter, fond of manipulations that often disguise the guitar until it sounds like anything but. There's quite a bit of that here, but often it's the older, more traditional Hall who's creating the most extreme noises. Frisell, meanwhile, proves he's able to rein in and play it straight. Hemispheres comprises two discs: one is all duets, the other adds bassist Scott Colley and drummer Joey Baron.

Recorded in close quarters, the material ranges from a pin-drop-soft cover of Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge" and a frisky take on Milt Jackson's "Bags' Groove" to the arch, 15-plus-minute "Migration," an improvised free piece that's maybe five minutes too long, and a grooving "Masters of War" that doesn't so much deconstruct the Dylan tune as give it a fresh, less angry coat of paint. Recorded live sans overdubs, Hemispheres is about intuitiveness, open-mindedness, and unpredictability — in other words, what jazz should be.

Related: Moving fast and standing still, Streaming, Mixed messages, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Bill Frisell, Billy Strayhorn, jazz,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

--> -->
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: JEFF TAMARKIN

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group