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Ghost Town


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Audio CD, March 7, 2000
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Biography

In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. The New ... Read more in Amazon's Bill Frisell Store

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Ghost Town + Good Dog Happy Man
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: March 7, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00004NHIO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa
2. Ghost Town/Poem For Eva
3. Wildwood Flower
4. Creep
5. Variation On A Theme (Tales From The Farside)
6. Follow Your Heart
7. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
8. What A World
9. My Man's Gone Now
10. Outlaw
11. When I Fall In Love
12. Big Bob
13. Winter Always Turns To Spring
14. Justice And Honor
15. Fingers Snappin' And Toes Tappin'
16. Under A Golden Sky

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Coming off a Downbeat salute in which his Nonesuch discography is dubbed "the best recorded output of the deacade", Bill Frisell steps outside of his celebrated ensemble format to take the spotlight alone. His first-ever solo effort is a mix of original tunes seasoned with choice covers that offers a chance for listeners to immerse themselves completely in a sound that has become one of the most recognizable in music today. With the subtleties of jazz, melded with the earnestness of country, embracing both darkness and light, Bill Frisell continues to create a genre unto himself. As with his last three albums, he continues in a musical vein that has brought him a new level of sales success and radio play, all the while maintaining the respect he has commanded as an innovator for nearly 20 years.

Amazon.com

No matter what the context--and there have been scores of them--Bill Frisell has sounded like he's on one long, constant solo more than any other guitarist in jazz. His playing is singular enough, though, that it always stands way out in a good way, both calling attention to and deflecting attention from itself. With Ghost Town, Frisell is alone--at least in theory. It's definitely a solo outing, but Frisell doubles and triples up with samples and loops, sounding like a virtual ensemble in places. As on Good Dog, Happy Man, Frisell layers differing elements to create a swimming sound that swirls while staying down-home. But the sounds of Ghost Town are alternately more fragile and more challenging than Good Dog, eschewing the regularity of plotted rhythms for the waft of a melody or particular improvisational train of thought. With nods to Hank Williams ("I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"), The Carter Family ("Wildwood Flower"), and "The Far Side" creator Gary Larson, Frisell explores new ground but never loses sight of the trail he's pioneered between jazz and folksy roots music. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

Be warned though: it may just be me but I found nothing joyful here.
Olukayode Balogun
Deceptively simple, the attention to melody, the rich and often unexpected harmonics and the spare, thoughtful improvisations all work to create very wonderful music.
Richard Thurston
I have really enjoyed listening to it several times over in the past few days.
Mythily Kumar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Richard Thurston on March 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Criticism of this most latest effort from Bill Frisell seems tofocus on what the cd is not.
Agreed:
This is absolutely not BadMehldau.
Nor is it Wes Montgomery or Joe Pass.
And it isn't 'jazz' in the very narrow sense of where one might find a Barney Kessell record.
So what?
I believe that the defining characteristic(s) of a great musician have to do with possessing a unique sound and an ability and willingness to communicate an original musical vision.
And Frisell is a unquestionably a unique and highly gifted performer. He is a great musican and artist. Well grounded in idioms as diverse as bop, country, pop, free improv and bluegrass Frisell has created a synthesis of those (and other) forms which is completely his own.
Recognizable from the first note, this cd plays very much like one of his solo concerts though augmented by studio overdubs. Deceptively simple, the attention to melody, the rich and often unexpected harmonics and the spare, thoughtful improvisations all work to create very wonderful music.
A particular highlight for me is the medley 'Ghost Town/Poem for Eva'. Lovely melodies, elegantly conveyed. Think of 'Poem for Eva' as the best tune the Everly Brothers failed to write.
Bill Frisell compiled one of the very best bodies of recorded work during the 1990's. This begins the 2000's at the same high level.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Here's another fine Bill Frisell effort which surpasses, I think, the Costello/Bacharach or "Good Dog Happy Man" albums. Frisell continues exploring minimalism here, and he moves further away from the sweeping, chorused electric sounds which characterized his early 90's work. This record focuses more on the acoustic sound which began to creep in with the Buster Keaton albums. What really makes it go are fine melodies within most of the tracks and an adventurous, musical spirit which one can feel (and hear) in the music.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By N. Caine on October 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
All these sycophantic 5 star reviews of all of Frisell's albums is getting tiresome. I own them all and count myself a serious, engaged fan of Frisell's. I listen to the music seriously and ambiently as well. He's a guy who seems unable to make up his mind whether he wants to be a legendary session player, adding his trademark guitar sound and riffs to collaborations, or whether he wants to fulfill some of his earlier promise as a true innovator and potential guitar genius. Guys like Mark O'Connor have managed to accomplish both, albeit on a different instrument, but Frisell seems to me to be absolutely in the first camp, that of session performer. But let's not overpraise someone with a fairly consistent sound and some nice chops all too rarely shown off. A few years ago, Frisell looked ready to unleash his genius and soul, such as on his wild solo on "East Timor" on Ginger Baker's "Unseen Rain" (which holds up nicely). But instead of moving forward, he settled into Joey Baron Zorn-influenced jazz sessions that are largely unremarkable. Frankly, I find the material no better than John Abercrombie's work. Then Frisell looked like he was going to break out in a new genre, the kind of New Grass jazz material pioneered by O'Connor and Edgar Meyer (recommended: Skip Hop and Wobble), which Yo Yo Ma got on their train with on his successful Appalachian Journey, and Frisell put out his superb "Nashville." Again, he didn't go anywhere with it by himself, and he has churned out variations on it in various session recordings. Yet again he settles into session playing which I find unambitious and, to be frank, often soulless. I find it to be great shame, since that solo on "East Timor" shows the guy can draw on something inside that goes beyond the safe zone he so often inhabits.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nobody important VINE VOICE on May 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I just finally bought this one, and it has quickly become my favorite of Frisell's works. He has finally returned to the minimalist style from "In Line" that won me over to him in the first place. Again, Frisell brings up images of some of Steve Tibbetts' compositions from Northern Song and a few later albums, but the compositions are still stamped with Frisell's own unique country/folk-inflected style. However, what has always impressed me the most about Frisell is what sticks out the most here (hence my opinion of Ghost Town)-- like Miles Davis, Frisell can convey feelings of enormous range and complexity with very minor and subtle changes in his tone and tempo. Those who find Frisell's playing one-dimensional because of his reluctance to go for John McLaughlin's speed should take a close listen to this album.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. DePaola on August 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ok here it is Folks,

Bill Frisell's Ghost Town is not meant to listen to if you want to dance, get up and shout at the moon, or workout with a reckless abandon. It's an album that takes you away to a very creative, peaceful, hypnotic place that only you're self on a quiet night or day can be truly self absorbed in this Masterpiece. If you play the guitar, (I do) - you should realize this is not just doodling around on a multi track device, it's well thought out and deep. It amazes me how some people can rate this and use the names of progressive fusion guitar player's names, this album is not about that, nor do I think that was Bill Frisell's approach toward writing the material. If you are longing for an instrumental album that's full of guitar chops this is definitely not the album for you. This album simply put is Masterful in its sensitivity, empty space, melody, and unique style to say the least.
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