TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
Michael Fremer Rated 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!
TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the January 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
The debut recording of guitarist Bill Frisell's trio with bassist Thomas Morgan & drummer Rudy Royston is a wide-ranging 13-song set that mixes Frisell originals new & old, jazz standards, traditional songs and covers. Valentine explores the creative freedom of the trio format and the profound musical relationship between these three musicians after years of touring.
"The heavily syncopated set of melodic tunes flows with bell tone precision forged by years together on the road, though surprise and invention seep from every rhythmic and harmonic twist... The melodies of familiar tunes (some of which Frisell has previously recorded in radically different versions) sometimes hide within the folds, creases and lurches of the harmonic and rhythmic structure... I've been streaming this one waiting for the double 33 1/3 vinyl. The Qobuz stream sounds crystalline-clear but cannot compare to what Kevin Gray did for the vinyl. You can wax (no pun intended) philosophical about the file's 'purity' and the vinyl's being a 'revisionist' version but every step from the live performance is a 'revision' and a form of signal processing. Clearly Mr. [Tucker] Martine produced a record you will love listening to and Greg Calbi's mastering is his usual great and respectful 'touch up' (if one was required), but whatever happened in lacquer cutting produced a transient vibrancy, bottom end articulation, clarity and extension the stream can't come close to matching. Instrumental separation has been purposefully minimized to create a compacted sense of the trio playing close to one another. Frisell's guitar is enhanced with a minimal and rapidly decaying reverb halo, leaving whole the delicate yet precise transient string attack floating willfully up front. Morgan's bass lines are cleanly and forcefully rendered and Royston's drums behind the other two add accents that surprise with each play. The sound of this record - the forceful bass set against the cleanly rendered, shimmering guitar lines will excite your senses and bring to life even the most moribund audio system. Nicely gatefold packaged and at least my copy was dead quiet and perfectly pressed. Even if you have many of the 60+ year old guitarist's records, this is a 'must have'." - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 10/11
The sound of this record - the forceful bass set against the cleanly rendered, shimmering guitar lines will excite your senses and bring to life even the most moribund audio system... this is a 'must have.'
Whether the underpinnings are folk, pop, blues, mainstream jazz, or abstract impressionism, the depth and breadth of these mostly gentle, sometimes roiling performances are breathtaking.
- Double LP
- Gatefold jacket
- Baba Drame
- Hour Glass
- Winter Always Turns To Spring
- Keep Your Eyes Open
- A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
- Wagon Wheels
- Aunt Mary
- What The World Needs Now Is Love
- Where Do We Go?
- We Shall Overcome