Bill Frisell, Sarah Siskind | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Bill Frisell, Sarah Siskind Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: 2009

Guitarist Bill Frisell has assimilated a lot of styles over the years, from blues and Americana to jump-cut skronk, but for a long time what he played often seemed secondary to how he played it—his signature sound, gauzy and rain washed, seems to float in the air even in those rare moments when he wields it with genuine violence. Over the past decade, though, he’s not only consolidated his interests, combining them into a single approach instead of hopping from genre to genre, but he’s also deepened the substance of his music enough that it can steal the show from that instantly recognizable sound. On last year’s History, Mystery (Nonesuch), a two-CD set recorded with an octet, he erased the boundaries between jazz standards and Americana, so that the performances could’ve doubled as ecumenical summaries of indigenous American idioms. And more recently, on the double disc Hemispheres (ArtistShare), Frisell displayed some of his most convincing jazz bona fides, in duets with venerable guitar great Jim Hall and in a quartet with Hall, drummer Joey Baron, and bassist Scott Colley. Astonishingly, there are moments when Frisell doesn’t sound like the kid—partly because Hall is an inveterate explorer, not an old master set in his ways, but also because Frisell has finally found his unique place in the tradition. Here he leads a trio with bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Rudy Royston. Sarah Siskind opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $28, $26 members, $24 seniors and children

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