Denver-Raised Bill Frisell Plays With Paul Simon on Colbert and Releases Album

Bill Frisell performs with Paul Simon.
Bill Frisell performs with Paul Simon. YouTube
It’s been five decades since guitarist Bill Frisell played his first jazz tune in public as a junior at East High School.

Over the years, he’s worked with his share of legends, including Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones and a slew of others. Paul Simon can be added to that list now, too, as Frisell accompanied the legendary singer-songwriter on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last Wednesday night to perform a duo version of Simon’s “Questions for the Angels,” from his 2011 album So Beautiful or So What. Also note Simon dropping Jay-Z's name in the song:

Frisell is a highly regarded jazz guitarist, playing songs colored with hints of country, folk and Americana.

While Frisell has worked in numerous formats over the years, there’s something about his playing in duos that is especially compelling, particularly the 1995 live EP Deep Dead Blue with Costello; Reunion, the 2007 live EP with his former Longmont-based guitar teacher, Dale Bruning; and Small Town, his excellent brand-new album with bassist Thomas Morgan that's being released today, May 26, on ECM.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon