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Blame It on Age: Bill Frisell's Latest LP 'Guitar in the Space Age' Misses Mark, Lacks Impact

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Oct 08, 2014 04:12 PM EDT

Bill Frisell's latest disc, Guitar in the Space Age, has not landed easily on some listeners. As David Graham at The Atlantic reports, the function of the album departs from being "complicated enough" and, instead, stays a little more stationary.

Rehashing some old hits that Frisell recounts from his childhood or as "naive melodies" the LP does not seem to deliver, according to some. But talking about himself and where he has come, Frisell was quoted saying, "As I get older, I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of playing something that was a part of my life."

He continued, "Some naive melody or childhood memory that I once would have thought wasn't complicated enough."

The 63-year-old guitarist is known as a leading jazz guitar aficionado in the modern world, but is his latest disc real jazz? For years, the guitarist has been experimenting with non-jazz textures, bringing together an amalgam of country folk-jazz.

What he has churned out since has been generally well-received, and the All We Are Saying LP was a solid album of slick Lennon covers.

But like Graham notes, what is the point of it? It is not anything spectacular, but it is also a joy to listen to.

Wherever Frisell exists in this middleground he has carved out for himself is unknown, but his unenthusiastic guitar album might not have the impact he was going for. Yes, it is a comfortable place to be, but what good has come from anyone who is comfortable?

You be the judge. Listen to a track from the album below:

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TagsBill Frisell, Guitar in the Space Age, The Atlantic, David A. Graham, All We Are Saying, john lennon