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Quilt detail - Sue Stevens

Detail of a quilt made by Sue Stevens

My cousin Megan reminded me that my aunt made me a dulcimer for Christmas one year. She was a huge influence on where my music has taken me. She encouraged my mother to give or she gave me a banjo and my first mandolin, as well as making the aforementioned dulcimer. The dulcimer was wicked out of tune all the time and couldn’t be put right but it was an awesome gift anyway. Sally was a big supporter of bluegrass, of which I do not play, but the instrumentation has sunk in and I love those acoustic american folk instruments. The mandolin has stuck with me. My mom and aunt where both quilters and crafty people of all types. I think that is where I get my creative side. Thanks mom. Thanks Aunt Sally. I dedicate “Sew What” to you two.

Here is “Sew What”, one of the songs from Simple Songs. I’m not sure the mandolin part is going to make the final cut but check out the rhythm section. It is a 1955 Singer Featherweight sewing machine. Rock On!

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I have been listening to Bill Frisell for quite a few years now. What the heck kind of music does he play? I really like most of what I have heard, especially his interpretations of folk and traditional music. I never thought to much about what to call his unique type of music, mostly because to me his playing is in its own category, but I know I like it. 

Bill Frisell - live at Jazz Alley, Seattle - 2...

Image via Wikipedia

 

I heard him play last year with Eyvind Kang & Rudy Royston (a violist and drummer respectively) and it seemed true to what I expected and know of his work. I went to hear him play at the Village Vanguard in New York and boy howdy what a treat that was. I went with a sense of unease because I have never heard him play with horns and wasn’t sure about the whole bebop/jazz thing with Bill. The drummer and saxophone players seemed steeped in what I hear as modern bebop but Bill Frisell was well, Bill Frisell. 

I can only think of how Thelonious Monk approached the piano; bare, sparse, and angular. Bill’s playing captured that same bare and open playing. I really appreciated the space in his playing, it wasn’t blazing cascading mountains of fast notes but an intriguing angular almost melodic line with the notes placed just right. Something I strive for in my playing. 

Here is an interesting interview with Bill by Scott Nygaard: http://www.acguitar.com/issues/ag113/feature113.html 

Bill Frisell - Joe Lovano - Paul Motian

Image via Wikipedia

 

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