Bill Frisell: Goodnight Irene


Goodnight Irene


Bill Frisell (guitar)


East /West (Nonesuch 79863)

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Bill Frisell (guitar), Tony Scherr (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums).

Composed by John A. Lomax and Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter


Recorded: Village Vanguard, NYC, December 9-12, 2003


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

The players in Bill Frisell’s longest standing current trio doubles as the rhythm section for the Sex Mob - bassist Tony Scherr, a fine guitarist and singer/songwriter in his own right, and drummer Kenny Wollesen, a veteran of the groups of John Zorn and Tom Waits, among countless others. The group allows (… or forces) Frisell to step into the spotlight and “play out” a bit more than in most of his other musical projects, which is a real treat considering the group’s massive repertoire and extraordinary rapport. On his website, Frisell summarized his feelings about the group: “My trio with Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen is probably the most flexible, spontaneous group I play with. […] I have the luxury of playing just about anything that comes into my head at any moment. This could be music from any of my albums, standard songs, folk songs, or whatever.” The no-frills guitar solo on “Goodnight Irene,” played in a mid-tempo 6/8, recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 2005, displays Frisell’s unconditional loyalty to melody – building in intensity but never abandoning the original storyline.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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