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Bill Frisell

When Coloradans talk about great musical artists with local roots, they seldom mention jazz guitarist Bill Frisell -- and frankly, this omission is mystifying. Frisell, who graduated from East High School and put in a couple of years at the University of Northern Colorado, has been releasing albums under his own name since 1984, and there's not a single embarrassment in his extensive catalogue, despite the variety of stylistic options he's explored. The musical gulf is vast between 2003's The Intercontinentals, a celebration of assorted roots and indigenous genres, and 2004's Unspeakable, a collaboration with adventurous producer Hal Willner that's soulful and string-laden. Even so, the recordings have at least one thing in common: their high quality. For this taping of the NPR radio program e-town, which also features Ruthie Foster, Frisell leads a new quartet co-starring Greg Leisz, David Plitch and Kenny Wollesen. There's no telling where these four will take listeners, but given Frisell's reputation, the destination should be well worth the visit. No matter where he's going, he'll undoubtedly do Colorado proud.


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