The Windmills of Your Mind

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Recorded by this quartet to celebrate drummer Paul Motian's 80th birthday, The Windmills of Your Mind is a collection of jazz and pop standards played by a stellar quartet that includes guitarist Bill Frisell, vocalist Petra Haden, and bassist Thomas Morgan. It mirrors, in an indirect manner, some of Motian's On Broadway releases Morgan appeared on the fifth volume and Frisell on the first three, as well as the all-but-ignored duet album Petra Haden & Bill Frisell, from 2003. While this is Motian's date, it is Frisell who keeps these skeletal arrangements together. One gravitates naturally to his instrument's lyricism as it introduces each tune as if it were a human ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Recorded by this quartet to celebrate drummer Paul Motian's 80th birthday, The Windmills of Your Mind is a collection of jazz and pop standards played by a stellar quartet that includes guitarist Bill Frisell, vocalist Petra Haden, and bassist Thomas Morgan. It mirrors, in an indirect manner, some of Motian's On Broadway releases Morgan appeared on the fifth volume and Frisell on the first three, as well as the all-but-ignored duet album Petra Haden & Bill Frisell, from 2003. While this is Motian's date, it is Frisell who keeps these skeletal arrangements together. One gravitates naturally to his instrument's lyricism as it introduces each tune as if it were a human voice. When Haden enters, it's almost as if she duets with Frisell. This doesn't take anything away from Motian or Morgan. Even at his advanced age, the drummer is a consummate dancer, his touch erudite and certain, yet so artful and airy it sets these rather straight re-readings just "off" enough to open them up musically. Take the mysterious intro to the title track, introduced by his brushed snare and hi-hat. Frisell hints at the melody, posing it as a question to Haden, who states the lyric sweetly and plaintively, yet Motian's movement unlatches the door at the ends of each of her lines. Haden introduces "I Loves You Porgy," as a nearly pastoral love song. Frisell follows suit, highlighting her vocal with shimmering chord voicings and just enough reverb to create space. While Morgan's bassline stays close to the changes, it's Motian's accents, feints, and stutter-stops that hint there is a darker drama afoot. Only Frisell's guitar keeps the tune from moving somewhere else. Johnny Mercer's "I Remember You" begins almost haltingly with the trio finding a common space to insinuate rather than state the melody. When Haden begins singing, Morgan finds it first, while Motian skates around it deftly, creating movement inside Frisell's restraint. The singer is allowed to imbue the lyric with shades of meaning that not only evoke memory, but also a present-tense, nearly wistful longing. There are some lovely instrumental interludes inside its nearly six-minute length, that evidence the close listening of all participants at work on this lovely recording.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/9/2011
  • Label: Winter & Winter
  • UPC: 025091018222
  • Catalog Number: 182
  • Sales rank: 188,919

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul Motian Primary Artist, Drums
Bill Frisell Electric Guitar
Petra Haden Vocals
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Michel Legrand Composer
Pee Wee King Composer
Redd Stewart Composer
Alan Bergman Composer
Marilyn Bergman Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Henry Creamer Composer
Ron Saint Germain Engineer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Paul Motian Composer
Ralph Rainger Composer
Leo Robin Composer
Jule Styne Composer
James Johnson Composer
Victor Schertzinger Composer
Mariko Takahashi Executive Producer
James Sherman Composer
Roger Ramirez Composer
Stefan Winter Producer, Executive Producer
Adrian von Ripka Mastering
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