This is a simple week – two offerings of note, both jazz or jazz-related.
Bill Frisell: East/West – My favorite guitarist releases, at long last, his second live album. How a guitarist this amazing and talented has gone so long between live releases is beyond me. Whereas his first live album, the intriguingly titled Live, captured Frisell at the peak of his noisy period, East/West finds Frisell at the far end of the spectrum with his now default “Americana” mode in full swing. As much as I love hearing Frisell skronk-out on the guitar, it’s his more gentle, simple playing that tugs at me emotionally, and it’s his jazzy take on country/bluegrass that really shines brightly for me. The two discs in this set document two of his recent trios, both of which feature the amazing Kenny Wolleson on drums, with Tony Scherr on bass on the “East” (New York) disc and Viktor Krauss on the “West” (Los Angeles) disc. An absolute must-have today.
Pat Metheny & Ornette Coleman: Song X Twentieth Anniversary – Another living legend of jazz has a “new” offering this week marking the 20th anniversary of this historic pairing of greats (and Charlie Haden!) I have to admit I’ve never heard this, but from sound clips it’s going right on the top of my list. Those who’ve been listening to this for the past twenty years have a bonus to coerce them into buying it, beyond the remastering – six additional tracks added to the beginning of the album. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing some remarks from Blogcritic Mark Saleski, a Metheny junkie, on this one pretty soon . . .