"It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play." - The New York Times
Bill Frisell Trio
Featuring: Bill Frisell, guitar
Viktor Krauss, bass
Kenny Wollesen, drums
Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell played clarinet throughout his childhood in Denver, Colorado. His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material. Later, Bill studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber. Bill moved to the New York City area in 1979 and stayed until 1989. He now lives in Seattle.
Since then, Bill's work has been very well documented on his many recordings. His performance schedule has been more and more taken up with his own projects. He continues to play with Paul Motian's Trio with Joe Lovano and has also performed with Jim Hall, Don Byron, Ginger Baker, Charlie Haden, David Sanborn, Marianne Faithful, Elvis Costello, Ron Carter, and the Hal Willner produced tribute to Harry Smith. He performed Steve Mackey's composition "Deal" at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies and in Los Angeles with members of the L.A. Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. As he is also becoming more active as a film composer, Bill's music can be heard in Gary Larson's "Tales from the Farside," Gus van Sant's "Psycho" and "Finding Forrester," Rory Kennedy's documentary for HBO, "American Hollow," and Wim Wenders's "Million Dollar Hotel" (with Brian Blade, Jon Hassell, Bono, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Greg Cohen, and Adam Dorn.) He has also written music for the Frankfurt Ballett and the ACT Theatre's production of "Temporary Help." He has been featured on TV on "Night Music," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "Sessions at West 54th Street."
"When I was 16, I was listening to a lot of surfing music, a lot of English rock. Then I saw Wes Montgomery and somehow that kind of turned me around. Later, Jim Hall made a big impression on me and I took some lessons with him. I suppose I play the kind of harmonic things Jim would play but with a sound that comes from Jimi Hendrix", Frisell told Wire. Bill also lists Paul Motian, Thelonious Monk, Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and his teacher, Dale Bruning, as musical influences.
When he's home, he likes to play at clubs like "The Tractor Tavern". He continues to work with Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb - and it was in the Northwest where he had the opportunity to meet many musicians and artists who have been an inspiration, such as Eyvind Kang, Michael Shrieve, Kevin Sawka, Danny Barnes, Keith Lowe, Christos Govetas, Martin Hayes, Boubacar Traore, Sidiki Camara, the film director Gus van Sant, cartoonists Jim Woodring and Gary Larson, the painter Claude Utley and so many others.