Friday, August 13, 2010

Effective Guitar Work

Now here's a band that, hopefully, won't find itself tossed off in the far receses of jazz history. I profess total ignorance of Julie Andrews' rendition of this lighter-than-air ditty as sung in the 1966 film "Hawaii." But I do know that Elmer Bernstein's Oscar-winning song brings out the best in Frisell and Scofield. This performance also demonstrates the significant importance of technology as it applies to individual style: both guitarist's distinctive sounds are dependent on the electronic effects they are utilizing. Products of the rock era, these effects are judiciously used, in the hands of sensitive players like Frisell and Scofield, to enhance an unmistakeable jazz aesthetic.
Frisell unveils the spacious lyricism we've come to expect from him; Scofield, for his part, is particularly aware of the value of the chiseled phrase -- being in continual contact with Frisell must have rubbed off on him. A special performance from a near-forgotten band well worth investigating.

"My Wishing Doll" can be heard in its original recording on "Bass Desires" (ECM Records)

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