Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Bill Frisell - Brooklyn 6/8/02: This concert has Ron Miles and Jenny Scheinman in tow, and took place prior to the release of The Intercontinentals. Some of the material seems to come from that record, but with the quiet and space arrangements for this drummerless group, it’s hard to tell. There is a chamberish, recital feeling to the music which is quite beautiful, but never really seems to find its bearings. Miles has a wonderful stentorian tone – he’s somewhat forgotten amongst the flashier mainstream trumpet players like Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton. Jenny Scheinman fits in really well with both Frisell and Miles, her flexibility allows her to move with ease between classical, world, jazz and the country influenced Americana that Frisell favors.

I’ve been getting into the album Chutes Too Narrow by the indie-pop group The Shins lately. Usually, I just groan at really poppy music, but this just kind of burrowed its way into my mind and won’t let go. The pop sensibilities of the group definitely come to the fore on the album but it’s not the pandering kind of MTV style pop, but with a song that mentions Sir Thomas More how could it? The music mixes acoustic and electric instruments with vocal harmonies to good effect as well as witty, interesting songwriting. If all pop music was this good…

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