Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!

Album review
Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!

Bill Frisell

Guitar in the Space Age!

Label: OKeh
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz
Ratings:
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The Space Age officially began in 1957 with Sputnik and reached its peak with the Apollo program from 1961-1972. During that span a lot of guitar music went down that was eagerly absorbed by baby boomers, including Frisell, who reflects back on that period with fondness in this nostalgic collection of classic six-string tunes. Joined by kindred spirit Greg Leisz on pedal steel and his longtime rhythm tandem of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer-vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen, Frisell delivers personalized takes on such early 60s instrumental staples as the Chantays’ “Pipeline,” Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser,” and Link Wray’s powerchording showpiece, “Rumble.” With Leisz and Frisell forming a two-guitar frontline, the musicians recreate a suitably twangy Byrds-ian cover of Pete Seeger’s “Turn Turn Turn” while Leisz’s pedal steel provides a dreamy effect on their soothing cover of “Surfer Girl.” They also turn in a swinging rendition of the Jimmy Bryant-Speedy West tune “Bryant’s Boogie” while covering Merle Travis’ country guitar showcase “Cannonball Rag” and the Astronauts’ 1963 surf guitar hit “Baja.” Included are three originals in the delicate chamber piece “The Shortest Day,” the spacey “Reflections from the Moon” (with allusions to Dark Side of the Moon), and the spacious “Lift Off.”

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Contributors:
  • primary artist, Bill Frisell

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