25 September 2006


Peon's Praise

I am not worthy to cinch my former Bainbridge Islander strumming buddy Bill Frisell's capo d'astro even to the 2nd fret, but I have had some time since leaving Bezoshire to listen to his recordings in some detail and each playing humbles me. Awe comes into it.

The tab 'genius' is bandied to devaluation but I'm lost for an alternative.

His tone and understanding of the various guitars he plays is nigh perfect.

In my humble way, I've acquired a touch or two on the six strings and can pick up a guitar no matter how crappy and find its worth and make it sing.

Mind you, depending on how crappy it is, a fret either side can land you back in its crapdom, but I've seen owners double take at what i milk from their battered axes.

Forget technique: Frisell plays the notes, period, leaving us to listen to the chording and timing and tone and just swoon.

Check out or be dangerously deprived: his renderings of 'Shenandoah' on his stunning East/West live album and the studio Good Dog, Happy Man.

Fluting Fauntleroyal accents seems to have some play here because I've got a gig down Taki's taverna, DJ'ing some of my Ionian Isle discs, now and then stepping down to thrum a ditty or two on the Ovation before passing it round to anyone in the audience who fancies 'emselves as a 5-chorder.

Petra-fied: I thought I knew a bit about self-effacing virtuoso accompaniment.

Frisell backs Petra Haden (daughter of noble contrebassiste Charlie) in the definitive performance.

Hark to 'Yellow', hark to BF's solo on 'John Henry'.

I could order 50 from Amazon and sell them at thrice price and be re-ordering within the weekend.

Producer: I'm meeting a few local producers and bringing in local anglais talent in the unlikley case there's any mileage there for some Corfu-based album to be flogged round the bars and at the aiport and other sad scenarios.

I play them my Frisell and they make 'poh poh' Greek gestures and shake their Greek locks at Lee Townsend's sheer mastery of the art.

We can reel back aghast at the Frisell sound coming over the Wharfedales or thru the cans but it's unsung maestros like Lee T who deliver the actual goods. Tucker Martine another with the lovely Laura Veirs.

Sales sans frontières : Honest idiot that I am, when I left Seattle I cut my ties with the lovely folks who sent me review albums.

Doh! I get mails from Paxos to Piccadilly Circus, Tegucigalpa to Tenerife:

"Yo, Chris - wha' happened? You turned me onto the amazing Bill Frisell. I wait to read your judgements of new ones but nothing comes.

I buy it anyway, but what do *you* think."

Ah, my darlings, I'm too busy chomping on lotuses and being happy man with good dog.

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