History, Mystery

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
For a minimalist, Bill Frisell sure gives us a lot to chew on. His new History, Mystery, is a double-disc set that finds the innovative guitarist and composer delving into familiar territory, but with enough tangy twists to lend surprise. Frisell has been called the anti–guitar hero, and for good reason. Over the course of a four-decade career, he’s pared down his playing to often skeletal proportions, yet paradoxically, his economic approach is all the more expressive and satisfying for it. Frisell loves to solo as much as the next guitar genius, but he tends to confine expansive outings to albums featuring his own working trios and the canny small group he’s shared...
See more details below
CD
$26.18
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$28.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $16.57   
  • Used (1) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
For a minimalist, Bill Frisell sure gives us a lot to chew on. His new History, Mystery, is a double-disc set that finds the innovative guitarist and composer delving into familiar territory, but with enough tangy twists to lend surprise. Frisell has been called the anti–guitar hero, and for good reason. Over the course of a four-decade career, he’s pared down his playing to often skeletal proportions, yet paradoxically, his economic approach is all the more expressive and satisfying for it. Frisell loves to solo as much as the next guitar genius, but he tends to confine expansive outings to albums featuring his own working trios and the canny small group he’s shared with drummer Paul Motian and saxophonist Joe Lovano for the past 25 years. On History, Mystery he scores his most trenchant points through suggestive melody and textural arrangements. Given a larger ensemble -- here Frisell employs compact string and horn sections that include such sympathetic collaborators as violinist Jenny Scheinman, trumpeter Ron Miles, and saxophonist Greg Tardy -- he can delve into his deep sonic universe, culling freely from jazz, folk, blues, and world musics. The guitarist has a knack for writing modest yet fulsomely evocative melodies that register instantly, yet as a card-carrying eclectic, Frisell is always ready to toss curve balls. Among his spaciously conceived originals he slips in Thelonious Monk’s "Jacky-ing," Lee Konitz’s "Subconscious Lee," and Sam Cooke’s "A Change Is Gonna Come," as if to warn, "Label me at your own peril." No chance of it, Bill.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
History, Mystery is among Bill Frisell's most eclectic yet accessible projects. Produced by longtime ally Lee Townsend, this double-disc, 90-minute, 30-piece suite encompasses the full range of Frisell's musical past and his influences, obsessions, and storylike vision. It is performed by a star-studded octet that includes trumpeter Ron Miles, saxophonist Greg Tardy, and a string section featuring Eyvind Kang, Jenny Scheinman, and Hank Roberts, with bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen in the rhythm section. History, Mystery dances across entire musical landscapes: bebop/post-bop, Malian folk music, tangos, Delta blues, modern classical music, vintage soul, and rock. The source material for this recording was compiled from a multimedia collaboration with artist Jim Woodring called Mysterio Sympatico in 2002 and recorded during a tour. The rest was recorded for Stories from the Heart of the Land, a 2007 series on National Public Radio. Frisell composed most of this work, but his own "history" is revealed in his choice of covers: Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Jackie-Ing" by Thelonious Monk, "Sub-Conscious Lee" by Lennie Tristano, and "Baba Drame" by Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traoré. The sense of "mystery" is in just how these various sources are melded in a multi-textured tapestry of sound. Balance for this work is achieved in the strength of its arrangements, and the glue that binds them together is the string section. Its role is pivotal: it anchors the listener through its many stylistic and textural changes. The notion of "history" here is also revealed in the way songs are juxtaposed. For instance, a soul tune like "A Change Is Gonna Come" actually precedes a knotty yet swinging bop number like "Jackie-Ing." Non-American sources are cited, too. The nuevo tango-inspired "Probability Cloud" is the theme that bookends disc one. It begins as a digital guitar soundscape before an Astor Piazzolla-inspired tango comes to the fore in the strings. Traoré's droning desert blues "Baba Drame" features an interlude that evokes late-19th century Spanish folk music, itself inspired by the chants and sung prayers of the Moors centuries before. Disc two engages themes, departures, and returns in numerous ways: the haunting, near-ambient "Monroe," with guitar and viola in the forefront; the spectral "Lazy Robinson" that floats between carnival music and modern classical composition with a rock backbeat in waltz tempo; and the two-part "Answer," a strange, nightmarish, and disorienting sketch where the strings play an actual counterforce to Frisell's guitar. The music here is very adventurous and exploratory yet completely accessible. "Faces," with its traces of Gil Evans and Igor Stravinsky, contrasts wonderfully with the tough bebop in "Sub-Conscious Lee" itself furthered by Scheinman's violin referencing Stéphane Grapelli's Gypsy swing. "Waltz for Baltimore" places the grittiness of Tardy's guttural rhythm & blues honk against Frisell's elegant, modernist jazz chords; they are both made slightly surreal by Scheinman's violin, playing a minimal loop that bridges and yet displaces eras in ether. History, Mystery is an ambitious work; it's full of elliptical, riveting moments, shape-shifting colors, and multivalent textures. Frisell's inherent love of formal lyricism, expansive harmonics, and divergent musical histories reflects his tireless passion for tracing sources. In composing his own material, he also interprets and arranges his sources. On History, Mystery he achieves musical alchemy; he creates something new from familiar, exotic, and even forgotten forms, providing listeners with a magical aural experience.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2008
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597994377
  • Catalog Number: 435964
  • Sales rank: 98,551

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Imagination (1:51)
  2. 2 Probability Cloud (4:45)
  3. 3 Probability Cloud, Pt. 2 (1:01)
  4. 4 Out of Body (2:27)
  5. 5 Struggle (5:32)
  6. 6 A Momentary Suspension of Doubt (0:38)
  7. 7 Onward (1:38)
  8. 8 Baba Drame (6:09)
  9. 9 What We Need (1:37)
  10. 10 A Change Is Gonna Come (8:49)
  11. 11 Jackie-Ing (2:55)
  12. 12 Show Me (3:16)
  13. 13 Boo and Scout (2:28)
  14. 14 Struggle, Pt. 2 (6:25)
  15. 15 Heal (1:41)
  16. 16 Another Momentary Suspension of Doubt (0:37)
  17. 17 Probability Cloud (Reprise) (1:36)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Monroe (4:18)
  2. 2 Lazy Robinson (2:18)
  3. 3 Question #1 (1:14)
  4. 4 Answer #1 (0:40)
  5. 5 Faces (1:52)
  6. 6 Sub-Conscious Lee (5:39)
  7. 7 Monroe, Pt. 2 (1:52)
  8. 8 Question (0:56)
  9. 9 Lazy Robinson, Pt. 2 (3:18)
  10. 10 What We Need, Pt. 2 (1:16)
  11. 11 Waltz for Baltimore (8:47)
  12. 12 Answer #2 (1:50)
  13. 13 Monroe, Pt. 3 (2:58)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bill Frisell Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Loops
Hank Roberts Cello
Ron Miles Cornet
Tony Scherr Bass
Greg Tardy Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Wollesen Drums
Eyvind Kang Viola
Jenny Scheinman Violin
Technical Credits
Sam Cooke Composer
Lee Konitz Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Bill Frisell Composer, Liner Notes, Loop
Russ Lee Cover Photo
Thelonious Monk Composer
Lee Townsend Producer
Boubacar Traoré Composer
Shawn Pierce Engineer
Jim Woodring Liner Notes
Claudia Engelhart Live Sound
Ronen Givony Editorial Coordinator
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Transcend Your Mind

    Open it up to possibilities...musical sounds that also make you feel. This is musical artistry at its best. Mr. Frisell is a genius who's gifts we will forever cherish. This CD will take you on a tour like no other. Music that will touch your heart, your soul and your mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews