Jul 13, 2021
Bill Frisell likes to keep busy. Not only did the beloved jazz guitarist put out his latest album, “Valentine,” in the middle of a pandemic, he even managed to play some live shows. Sort of. Along with a few fellow musician friends, Frisell performed a handful of pop-up shows on scattered Brooklyn stoops to the delight of stir-crazy neighbors.
Frisell, whose career spans four decades, is an understated bandleader who blends folk, rock and country into his spare and often haunting performances. And now, after many months of waiting, Frisell is back on stage. He had his first official (sold-out) Brooklyn gig in May, in Industry City, after a brief jaunt out west. In early July he headlined a fundraiser for the jazz community at Collab Fabrication Lab & Innovation Studio in Bushwick.
For a master of his instrument—he’s collaborated with everyone from Elvis Costello to John Zorn to Allen Toussaint to Lucinda Williams to Paul Simon to Paul Motian—Frisell remains admirably humble as he passes the torch: “I’m just trying to keep learning,” he told Brooklyn Magazine last month. “The people that I play with, I know they’re younger than me, but they’re like my teachers, you know? I choose them because I want to learn from them.”