Friday, December 01, 2006


Bill Frisell.

In the liner notes to Lee Morgan's Search for the New Land (1964), Nat Hentoff comments on the difference between "identity" and "style," suggesting that while Morgan's musical identity had been strong since he first started playing (at age 18) in Dizzy Gillespie's band, he was only then really beginning to develop his own style, in that you would be able to identify when someone else was copping Lee Morgan's licks.

I've always found this idea of identity vs. style interesting, particularly in regard to someone like Bill Frisell, who I think has one of the most original and recognizable styles in modern electric guitar. There's probably no single artist to whom I've spent more time listening over the last few years than Frisell, so it's appropriate that I feature him today as I prepare to take another break from blogging to make some headway in writing my thesis. Blogging will be light over the next couple months.

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