A Conversation with Bill Frisell, Part 2

In my previous blog entry I discussed some matters leading up to my conversation with Bill Frisell, but there’s a little more to it. At I began walking toward the front of the stage one of the Emery Theatre ushers asked if she could help me, at which point I said if possible I would like to talk to Bill Frisell for a second. At that point Frisell was on the stage, and the crowd mingling about near the foot of the stage led me to believe that in the next couple minutes he’d be chatting with us. The usher ended up walking up to the stage and telling Frisell my request, and shortly thereafter he walked down to where everyone was standing.

Although it was nice of the usher to do that, there was ultimately more protocol involved than I had originally envisioned, especially because I was going to just casually say hi. After the guitarist  signed my program, we chatted briefly about the Naked City show where I first saw him perform. After that there was only one other thing I could think of: I asked about a song that had less of an Americana feel than most of the others, and beyond that the way I described it was like this:  “It sounded like it was going to become Music To Watch Girls By, but it didn’t. Do you have any idea what that was?”

“I don’t know that song,” was his reply – and seconds later he was chatting with the next fan.

Here’s why I said that everything went swimmingly that evening except that conversation with Bill Frisell. Anyone else would have referenced  Takemitsu or Shostakovich or Carla Bley or some other heavyweight in the music world. Me, I mentioned an EZ-listening song from the 1960s that although it was played a million times in airports and doctor’s and dentist’s offices was so inconsequential that it failed to lodge itself in Bill Frisell’s long-term memory (or anyone else’s that I talked to that evening). The strange thing, I actually like the song. When he mentioned it to a friend the next day, he said he’d like to hear Frisell play it, because it’s as staccato as a song can be while Frisell is the most legato player out there – so what the heck would happen if he took it on? There are both instrumental and vocal versions of “Music to Watch Girls By,” and I decided to post here what may be the most famous one, by the late Andy Williams:


Also, a couple quick reminders of events this weekend:

  • Mothers of Invention – The Music of Frank Zappa.  Sunday, October 14 at 7 PM at the Patricia Corbett Theater at College- Conservatory of Music the Jazz Lab Band will devote the entire evening to the music of Frank Zappa. Tickets t are $12 for general admission, $6 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.
  • The 6th Annual Annunciation Oktoberfest begins at 7:00 pm and will continue through Sunday. Don’t miss the Soul Pocket Band tonight; they take the stage at 8 pm and play until midnight. Here’s a link to the webpage for the event: http://www.annunciationbvmparish.org/Oktoberfest2010Main.html
  • Don’t forget to vote for Gaslight Property as the best rental company in  the News Record. To vote, visit The News Record’s website –newsrecord.org – and then scroll down to the bottom, where near the bottom of the page you’ll find, on the left side, an Online Poll for the Best Rental Company.

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