Jim Hall & Bill Frisell: Masters of War
Masters of War
Scott Colley (bass), Joey Baron (drums).
Composed by Bob Dylan.
Recorded: Duet tracks (CD 1), 2007; Quartet tracks (CD 2), 2008
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Over the past two decades, eclectic guitarist Bill Frisell ("eclectric" maybe) has become renowned for maverick tune selection, inventive picking, and an apparent willingness to play/jam with anyone; in the process he has defined an intriguing new jazz form: Americana meets roots meets improvisation. In the mid-'90s he was sideman on an album for grandmaster Jim Hall; now, over 10 years later, comes the brilliant sequel, their 2008 2-CD set for ArtistShare titled Hemispheres, chock-full of dueling duets and quartet quadrilles, sudden originals, moody ballads, standards turned sideways ... and a certain "Masters of War," which can safely be ascribed to Bill's big ears. Hear the duo dig in on Dylan's folk fretting, Bill's Telecaster effects laying a bed for Jim's solo stringing, the pair turning anger into beauty and revealing an unexpected kinship between Dylan's tune and "My Favorite Things"! The liner notes opine that Jim liked the lyrics. Well, we listeners like the picking and chiming of these Masters of Peace, the one forever young and the other bold beyond his ears.
Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher