Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bill Frisell and Vernon Reid - 1986 - Smash and Scatteration

Bill Frisell and Vernon Reid 
Smash and Scatteration

01. Landscapes In Alternative History 4:27
02. Size 10 1/2 Sneaks 3:10
03. Amarillo, Barbados 2:49
04. Last Nights Of Paris 3:04
05. Burden Of Dreams 6:35
06. Dark Skin 5:27
07. Fr, Fr, Frisell 4:10
08. Smal Hands 4:12
09. Black Light 7:06

Guitar, Synthesizer, Electronic Drums, Effects - Bill Frisell
Guitar, Banjo, Synthesizer, Electronic Drums - Vernon Reid

BILL FRISELL is an extraordinary name in a guitar world of contemporary American jazz and jazz rock scene: he is both eclectic in blending various musical styles (prog folk, classical, country, noise) and experimental from the timbral point of view, since he's extensively using a large number of guitar effects, making unique sounds with delays, distortions, reverbs, octave shifters etc.

He was born in Baltimore in 1951. He played clarined as a youngster. In early 80's, Pat Metheny recommended Frisell to Paul Motian who was recording an album for ECM Records. The consequence was Frisells new status: an in-house ECM's guitarist. The most notable cooperation from this period is probably working on an album with Jan Garbarek. Frisell released his first solo album in 1983.

The following two albums, 'Rambler' and 'Lookout For Hope' (released in '84 and '87 respectively) were done with a quartet -- Kermit Driscoll on bass, Joey Baron on drums, and Hank Roberts on cello (later reduced on trio when cellist left). This period is know as the New York City Era. He started his companionship with John Zorn - being a member of his band NAKED CITY.

In 1988 he moves to Seattle. The early 90's, arguably Frisell's best period brought 'Have A Little Faith' and 'This Land', on first exploring the whole palette of Americana music - from Copland to Dylan to Madonna - and on second the set of original numbers. During that period he worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto as well.

One of Bill Frisell early album - duets with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid.
There are just they two playing on this album, but music isn't what you can expect from usual guitarists duet. First of all, them both use plenty of electronics, from guitar synths to dx drum synth (Vernon Reid plays banjo as well). Then, music there is quite experimental mix of usual Frisell's down tempo country and western techniques with big amount of free jazz, electronics and even some hardcore.

Possibly, the mix is not very organic, but many moments will really attracts listener. Some melodic, even nostalgic compositions are mixed with many quite free form electronic/guitar experimental ones. Electronic drums sound often dated and very artificial, happily there are not too much of them.

I believe everyone who knows Frisell's solo works like him mostly because of his eclecticism: here you will find excellent example of it. Far not best Frisell's work, this album is really one of the his most experimental. With it's own pros and cons. But really interesting enough to be listened.