Bill Frisell: All Hat

Audio Samples

>John Hardy - (with Bill Frisell)
>Opening Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Meet the Stantons - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissies Fall - (with Bill Frisell)
>Peckerwood - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Race - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn - (with Bill Frisell)
>Stable Scene - (with Bill Frisell)
>Sting - (with Bill Frisell)
>Etta Interlude - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme Version 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissies Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme Version 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn, Pt. 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Stanton Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Interlude, Pt. 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>John Hardy/Ray Returns to Etta - (with Bill Frisell)
>Ray Driving - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn, Pt. 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme (Part 4) - (with Bill Frisell)
>Ray and Etta - (with Bill Frisell)
>Jackson's Epiphany - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Bar Song - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme, Pt. 5/Waltz - (with Bill Frisell)
>Interlude, Pt. 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Duet - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissie in the Meadow - (with Bill Frisell)
>Sonny's Losing Montage - (with Bill Frisell)
>Last Race - (with Bill Frisell)
>Etta's Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>End Credits - (with Bill Frisell)

Track List

>John Hardy - (with Bill Frisell)
>Opening Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Meet the Stantons - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissies Fall - (with Bill Frisell)
>Peckerwood - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Race - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn - (with Bill Frisell)
>Stable Scene - (with Bill Frisell)
>Sting - (with Bill Frisell)
>Etta Interlude - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme Version 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissies Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme Version 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn, Pt. 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Stanton Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>Interlude, Pt. 2 - (with Bill Frisell)
>John Hardy/Ray Returns to Etta - (with Bill Frisell)
>Ray Driving - (with Bill Frisell)
>Empty Barn, Pt. 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme (Part 4) - (with Bill Frisell)
>Ray and Etta - (with Bill Frisell)
>Jackson's Epiphany - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Bar Song - (with Bill Frisell)
>Theme, Pt. 5/Waltz - (with Bill Frisell)
>Interlude, Pt. 3 - (with Bill Frisell)
>Hardy Duet - (with Bill Frisell)
>Chrissie in the Meadow - (with Bill Frisell)
>Sonny's Losing Montage - (with Bill Frisell)
>Last Race - (with Bill Frisell)
>Etta's Theme - (with Bill Frisell)
>End Credits - (with Bill Frisell)

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"The problem with attempting to define Americana is that it is an all-encompassing term culturally speaking. As far as music goes, Americana runs the gamut from the Grateful Dead to Willie Nelson and just about everything in between. Equally, the music of guitarist Bill Frisell is difficult to describe without embarking on a short essay, and perhaps because of his eclecticism his music defines the essence of Americana as well as any and better than most.

This original score for Canadian film maker Leonard Farlinger's All Hatsees Frisell accompanied by familiar associates - Jenny Scheinman on violin, Greg Leisz on steel guitars and mandolin and Viktor Krauss on bass, as well as Scott Amendola on drums and percussion, and Mark Graham on harmonica. Scheinman, Leisz and Krauss have long accompanied Frisell on his ongoing journey into the country, bluegrass and folk which has characterized much of his music this last decade; not for nothing does All Hat sound like a proper group outing.

Frisell has always been able to mine the simplest tune and extract unexpected riches; the main theme, for example, is visited four times and yet sounds radically different each time, going from the beautiful acoustic guitar version with shuffling drum beat and Scheinman's train-rhythm violin, to a Johnny Cash-style chug-along romp, to a most graceful Southern waltz.

There are thirty one pieces ranging from thirty seconds to four minutes long, but there is a powerful continuity about this score. Frisell's music is often pictorial, and these sixty minutes are like an uninterrupted journey through changing landscapes, as sun and moon slowly chase each other's tails. One can easily imagine the wide plains and prairies, fields of wheat and small, nondescript towns either side of endless, straight highway. It's not all pastoral reverie however, and there are several interludes where Frisell's dark guitar-distortion rumbles, brooding and foreboding, like storm-heavy skies.

In many ways Frisell is ideally suited to cinema composition as it is remarkable how much he can weave in one minute, seemingly without breaking sweat; the tune "Hardy Race" may be the best one-minute square-dance ever, with mandolin and slide providing the melody while Krauss, Amendola and Scheinman lay down a delightful, bobbing rhythm. On All Hat the music rocks and grinds at times, burns slowly at others, and melts into the sunset, accompanied by Frisell's loops and ringing single note lines.

Producer Lee Townsend (as much a part of the Frisell posse as any of the musicians) has, as ever, done a beautiful job with this wonderful soundtrack, music which is outstanding in and of itself. Without having seen Leonard Farlinger's film, it is surely safe to say that if it is as satisfying as Frisell's music, then it is a must-see. All hats off to Frisell." -AllAboutJazz

"The problem with attempting to define Americana is that it is an all-encompassing term culturally speaking. As far as music goes, Americana runs the gamut from the Grateful Dead to Willie Nelson and just about everything in between. Equally, the music of guitarist Bill Frisell is difficult to describe without embarking on a short essay, and perhaps because of his eclecticism his music defines the essence of Americana as well as any and better than most.

This original score for Canadian film maker Leonard Farlinger's All Hatsees Frisell accompanied by familiar associates - Jenny Scheinman on violin, Greg Leisz on steel guitars and mandolin and Viktor Krauss on bass, as well as Scott Amendola on drums and percussion, and Mark Graham on harmonica. Scheinman, Leisz and Krauss have long accompanied Frisell on his ongoing journey into the country, bluegrass and folk which has characterized much of his music this last decade; not for nothing does All Hat sound like a proper group outing.

Frisell has always been able to mine the simplest tune and extract unexpected riches; the main theme, for example, is visited four times and yet sounds radically different each time, going from the beautiful acoustic guitar version with shuffling drum beat and Scheinman's train-rhythm violin, to a Johnny Cash-style chug-along romp, to a most graceful Southern waltz.

There are thirty one pieces ranging from thirty seconds to four minutes long, but there is a powerful continuity about this score. Frisell's music is often pictorial, and these sixty minutes are like an uninterrupted journey through changing landscapes, as sun and moon slowly chase each other's tails. One can easily imagine the wide plains and prairies, fields of wheat and small, nondescript towns either side of endless, straight highway. It's not all pastoral reverie however, and there are several interludes where Frisell's dark guitar-distortion rumbles, brooding and foreboding, like storm-heavy skies.

In many ways Frisell is ideally suited to cinema composition as it is remarkable how much he can weave in one minute, seemingly without breaking sweat; the tune "Hardy Race" may be the best one-minute square-dance ever, with mandolin and slide providing the melody while Krauss, Amendola and Scheinman lay down a delightful, bobbing rhythm. On All Hat the music rocks and grinds at times, burns slowly at others, and melts into the sunset, accompanied by Frisell's loops and ringing single note lines.

Producer Lee Townsend (as much a part of the Frisell posse as any of the musicians) has, as ever, done a beautiful job with this wonderful soundtrack, music which is outstanding in and of itself. Without having seen Leonard Farlinger's film, it is surely safe to say that if it is as satisfying as Frisell's music, then it is a must-see. All hats off to Frisell." -AllAboutJazz

Album Notes

Composer: Bill Frisell.

Personnel: Bill Frisell (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, loops); Greg Leisz (steel guitar, mandolin); Jenny Scheinman (violin); Mark Graham (harmonica); Viktor Krauss (bass instrument); Scott Amendola (drums, percussion).

All Hat is the soundtrack to the 2007 Leonard Farlinger film of the same name. Based on the brilliant novel by Brad Smith (who also wrote the screenplay), Farlinger's film is set in Ontario and involves an ex-baseball playing ex-con, a transplanted Texas cowboy who farms and raises losing race horses, a gambling addict and tycoon who wants to take over the town's farms to build a casino and hotel. Inserted into this is Frisell's score, built on his rootsy Americana side of fully fleshed out on his classic Nashville album with some of the same players: Viktor Krauss is here, as is Greg Leisz, and so are violinist Jenny Scheinman, drummer Scott Amendola, and Mark Graham on harmonica. Even though the score commences with Frisell's own interpretation of country, bluegrass, and folk and rock, it feels more like his impersonation -- with his signature sound of course -- of a Ry Cooder film score. This may not be an entirely fair characterization because Cooder as a guitarist set a new standard and created a new way to score movies in the modern era. It's also not a criticism. Frisell's cues range from basic instrumentation to some distorted guitar loops to some beautifully reverb-laden playing with gorgeous lap, pedal, and National steel guitars from Leisz. Krauss, a bluegrass player by nature, is the most rocksteady rhythm-nator around. Scheinman gets to gloss things over with her newfound hard-edged country and blues playing -- check "Stable Scene" and the funky "Sting." Characters are given their own themes, and in Frisell's soundworld this becomes an effective narrative flow when it comes to the film's images. The music here does tend to go by in a blur if you're not paying attention, but that's because of its crystalline character and tasteful subtlety. There's a lot going on here all the time. It's beautiful throughout and highly recommended for fans of Frisell's more Americana related material. It's a wonder that EmArcy didn't give this more of a push when it was released. ~ Thom Jurek



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