- Sorry, this item is not available in
- Image not available
- To view this video download Flash Player
On Unspeakable, guitarist Bill Frisell and producer Hal Willner (Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed) take a freewheelings, idiosyncratic approach to the modern art of music sampling, in a groove-and-soul based project. Frisell and Willner employ often obscure songs and sounds culled from vintage vinyl as the jumping off-point for their own sonic explorations, with choice fragments borrowed and integrated into original compositions. Unspeakable can have a fierce and infectious groove at times, and at others will adopt a more relaxed and reflective feel.
Stylistic shifts are nothing new in the career of Bill Frisell, who changes musical directions more often than Madonna. In fact, he even covered a Madonna song once. Unspeakable continues that tendency as Frisell teams up with Hal Willner, a willful musical eclectic. The two have worked together on collaborative projects including tributes to Nino Rota, Walt Disney, and Charles Mingus. Willner, who is also the turntabulist here, orchestrates a landscape of turntable spins and space jams using generic library production discs for much of his source material. '60s Dragnet jazz horns and orchestral Twilight Zone stylings lend the modern sound of Unspeakable a strangely nostalgic hue. Frisell finds himself in a landscape of Ligeti-like strings, bongo percolations, and Ghanian tribal calls, most of it super-charged by the rhythm team of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Their funky beats lay the terrain for Frisell's angular crossfire solos, but he can also wax sweetly nostalgic on "Hymn for Ginsberg" for guitar and string trio. Bill Frisell is filed in jazz, but he continues to be a genre unto himself. --John Diliberto
This guy has made more albums than I can count. I haven't heard them all, but I do own at least half a dozen. I know of no artist who is so consistently high quality in his output. Read morePublished on October 25, 2011 by Brad Smith
All the other reviews say it all. I just want to inform you of ALL the musicians on the CD.
Frisell with Hal Willner (turntables also known as record player scratching, CD... Read more
As I've said in a number of my other reviews, I'm not a big jazz guitar fan. That's probably because the first jazz guitar music I really listened to was the waiting room music of... Read morePublished on May 16, 2008 by Eric C. Sedensky
This 2004 gem is without a doubt, one of the most exciting and interesting jazz albums I own. Frisell has an incredibly unique voice with a truly eclectic range and it's impossible... Read morePublished on January 30, 2007 by Olukayode Balogun
I think I've figured out the "Unspeakable" part. These sound like demos or backing tracks to singing or spoken word parts (some of the titles refer to poets) that never got... Read morePublished on January 11, 2007 by bluejim
Frisell's "Unspeakable" recording is smooth and relaxing to listen to. It is the type of music where you can simply relax and get lost in the hypnotic quality, or you can listen... Read morePublished on March 14, 2006 by Robert M. Underwood, Jr.
Of course, I am a hugely biased fan of Bill Frisell, own several of his CDs and have seen him play live on several occasions in a variety of musical contexts. Read morePublished on February 21, 2006 by Ken Kingery
Grammy-winning "Unspeakable" continues Bill Frisell's style of putting emphasis on song over solo. The music is very structured. Read morePublished on December 23, 2005 by Anthony Cooper
To the one-star reviewers of this album, I have one suggestion: Grab another wine cooler and put that Kenny G album back in the CD player. Feeling better? Good! Read morePublished on October 8, 2005 by Steve Vrana