Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quintet
Big Sur Quintet
A suite commissioned by and premiered at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2012, Big Sur was composed by Bill Frisell while in a 10-day residence at the Glen Deven Ranch in Big Sur. Utilizing a hybrid group culled from Frisell’s 858 Quartet string ensemble and post-bop Beautiful Dreamers trio, Big Sur is not a dreamy, pastoral depiction of the wooded California coast along Highway 1. Instead, Frisell’s unique amalgam of blues, country and jazz combine to form a dynamic invocation of the breathtaking collision of oceanic vistas, redwood forests and rolling plains that mark the magical area south of Monterey – an area that has transfixed generations of artists and writers including Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller. The quartet boasts a formidable lineup of long-time Frisell accomplices including string players Jenny Scheinman, Eyvind Kang and Hank Roberts along with drummer Rudy Royston, most recently heard at SFJAZZ as part of Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers band. It is this group that appears on Frisell’s latest album, Big Sur, one of the first CDs released by Sony Classical’s revived OKeh label.
About Bill Frisell
Behind guitarist Bill Frisell’s affable demeanor there’s a steely-willed artist whose creative ambitions span the continent. Since his early days on the Downtown Manhattan scene in the mid-1970s, when he became a key collaborator with John Zorn, Frisell has steadily expanded his sonic purview, staking a claim to an ever-greater range of media, material, and musical traditions. From Charles Ives and Aaron Copland to Buster Keaton and Bob Dylan, from urban thrash and American Songbook ballads to country blues and Nashville twang, Frisell distills the essence of the American experience.