Search - Bill Frisell :: Rambler

Rambler
Bill Frisell
Rambler
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Guitarist Bill Frisell has always had an ear for unusual tonal colors, and they're particularly strong on this 1984 recording, an early and enduring document of a major musician's work. There's a distinctive emphasis on br...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Bill Frisell
Title: Rambler
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: ECM Records
Release Date: 10/25/1994
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 781182128729

Synopsis

Amazon.com essential recording
Guitarist Bill Frisell has always had an ear for unusual tonal colors, and they're particularly strong on this 1984 recording, an early and enduring document of a major musician's work. There's a distinctive emphasis on brass and the lowest registers, with Kenny Wheeler on trumpet and flügelhorn, Bob Stewart on tuba, and Jerome Harris on electric bass; drummer Paul Motian completes the quintet. The thick, bass-heavy textures and contrasting layers of sound give the music an almost orchestral quality, while Frisell and Wheeler's shared love of pitch bending sometimes gives the eerie sense of funhouse mirrors, a dream of sonic and temporal distortion. "Rambler" is a mirthful echo of mariachi music, "Music I Heard" is propelled by unlikely allusions to march rhythms, and "Resistor" has some of Frisell's most animated playing on disc, his guitar synth creating a Pandora's box of unexpected sounds and twisting, mercurial lines. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

A nice surprise from 1984
M.Richards | 12/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I avoided this cd despite it's great reviews because I always like Frisell's later works from the early '90's. I was wrong. This is a strong as some of his best recordings today. If you are a Frisell fan and haven't heard this cd, you will be pleasantly surprised. It is on par with "Quartet", another great Frisell album."
Frisell's absolute finest
Steward Willons | Illinois | 12/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is perhaps Frisell's finest effort. He has explored a number of styles over the course of his long career, but "Rambler" is so unique, so creative, and so inspired. This is vintage Frisell back when he was making so very bizarre sounds with his guitar. It's exactly this sort of bold experimentalism that drew me to Frisell in the first place.

The writing is uniformly strong: there are some lovely pieces such as "Rambler" and "When We Go", some harsh dissonance such as "Tone" and "Wizard of Odds", and some that really defy categorization such as "Music I Heard", a quasi-march in odd meter.

The other treat is the side men. Kenny Wheeler is in prime form here. His dark tone blends nicely with Bob Stewart's tuba (when was the last time you heard tuba on a jazz album?) and Frisell's legato synth/guitar strangeness. Wheeler's odd solos definitely take things "out", as they say, but in a different manner than Frisell.

The musicianship is outstanding as is the sense of ensemble. There are times when albums feel like the players were thrown together for the session without time to play as a group, but that's not the case here - they play like they've been together for years. Their blend and balance is further enhanced by EMC's trademark "cloud chamber" sound creating a thick, luxurious ambience.

I would put this in the top ten jazz albums of the last 30 years. That sounds extreme, but this is just that good. Rambler is an absolutely essential album not just for Frisell fans, for all fans of avant garde, progressive jazz music. Check it out."
Surprisingly good
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 06/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'd like to start out with an excerpt from M. Richards' review, "I avoided this cd despite it's great reviews because I always like Frisell's later works from the early '90's. I was wrong. This is as strong as some of his best recordings today." I share this sentiment. Frisell has always been a guitar visionary. That written, his music didn't really bloom or mature into consistent greatness until the late 1990's. Thus it's easy to be skeptical about Frisell's second album. That written, "Rambler" has turned out to be one of the most rewarding efforts that I've come across from Frisell's early period. Up there with "Where in the World?," "Rambler" is surprisingly strong. As with much of his early music, it is orchestrally driven. That written, it is loose enough to feel like a proto-Quartet project. Those accustomed to his later discography get immediate gratification with familiar songs. The title track and 'When We Go' are played on the Ginger Baker Trio's "Going Back Home." 'Strange Meeting' is one of the highlights off "Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones." Despite the album's strengths, it is not a place to begin with Bill Frisell -unless the listener is an ECM junkie. At the end of the day, "Rambler" sounds dated. This is due to the production and performance. That written, this dated quality sometimes plays as a strength. For example, Frisell occasionally employs a synthesizer used by Robert Fripp during the same time period. This wonderfully retro sound is immediately recognizable by anyone familiar with King Crimson's music from the same epoch -think "Discipline" and "Beat." While not a place to begin, "Rambler" is a great listen for the Frisellian who has played out Bill Frisell's first tier recordings."