Renowned modern jazz musicians Andrew Cyrille, drums, and Ben Monder, guitar, join Bill Frisell, UW Jazz Studies faculty and students for IMPFest IX, with two nights of performance at the UW's Ethnic Cultural Theater. Over the past nine years the student-led Improvised Music Project has instigated new directions in Seattle’s jazz and improvised music scene. The annual festival, which groups up-and-coming musicians, faculty all-stars, and seasoned professionals of international renown, is IMP’s signature annual event.
Not a Notecard Event
Ben Monder w/students
Bill Frisell/Cuong Vu/Luke Bergman/Ted Poor
Ben Monder w/faculty
Andrew Cyrille w/students
Andrew Cyrille w/faculty
Bill Frisell, Guitar
"It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness." - The New York Times
Over the years, Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Vinicius Cantuaria, Marc Johnson (in "Bass Desires"), Ronald Shannon Jackson and Melvin Gibbs (in "Power Tools"), Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, Rinde Eckert, The Frankfurt Ballet, film director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders' film Million Dollar Hotel.
This work has established Frisell as one of the most sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music. The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament not only to his singular guitar conception, but his musical versatility as well. This, however, is old news by now. In recent years, it is Frisell's role as composer and band leader which has garnered him increasing notoriety.
Much has been made of the uncategorizable nature of Frisell's music and the seamlessness with which his bands have navigated such a variety of styles. "Frisell's pals just happen to be superb musical chameleons, up to every change of gears and genre the guitarist's catch-all music throws at them. The band even comfortably follows the leader onto Country and Western turf, as Frisell often approximates the whine of a lonely steel guitar." (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Bill's comments to the same publication: "When I was in Colorado, I never really played that country stuff or even liked it that much, though it was all over the radio. But as I got older, it crept into my music a lot." In fact, the Chicago Tribune observed that "Frisell possesses not only impressive compositional skills but also a remarkable ability to encompass seemingly antagonistic musical genres." Commenting on his eclectic compositional inclinations, Frisell told Down Beat: "When I write something, it just sort of comes out. I'm not thinking, 'Now I'm going to write a cowboy song'. It just happens, then I usually think about what must have influenced it later. When I sit down to write something in a certain style, it doesn't work. I don't know if that's important or something I need to do, or if it doesn't matter. I don't care; I'm just thankful something comes out sometimes."
This musical kinship with Miles Davis has been cited repeatedly in the music press. The New Yorker notes: "Bill Frisell plays the guitar like Miles Davis played the trumpet: in the hands of such radical thinkers, their instruments simply become different animals. And, like Davis, Frisell loves to have a lot of legroom when he improvises--the space that terrifies others quickens his blood."
Andrew Cyrille, drums
Andrew Cyrille, born in Brooklyn on November 10, 1939, studied with Philly Joe Jones in 1958 and then spent the first half of the 1960s studying in New York at Juilliard and the Hartnett School of Music. At the same time, he was performing with jazz artists ranging from Mary Lou Williams, Coleman Hawkins, and Illinois Jacquet to Kenny Dorham, Freddie Hubbard, Walt Dickerson, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, among others. He also played with Nigerian drummer Babtunde Olatunji and worked with dancers. In 1964 he formed what would prove to be an eleven-year association with Cecil Taylor, a gig that brought him new acclaim and established him in the vanguard of jazz drumming.
Starting in 1969, Cyrille played in a number of percussion groups with notable drummers including Kenny Clarke, Milford Graves, Don Moye, Rashied Ali, Daniel Ponce, Michael Carvin, and Vladimir Tarasov. Cyrille formed his group Maono ("feelings") in 1975, with its fluid membership dictated by the forces his compositions called for rather than vice versa. Since leaving Taylor's group, he has also worked with such top-flight peers as David Murray, Muhal Richard Abrams, Mal Waldron, Horace Tapscott, James Newton, and Oliver Lake, was the drummer on Billy Bang's A Tribute to Stuff Smith (Soul Note 121216), notable for being the last studio session of Sun Ra.
An artist-in-residence and teacher at Antioch College (Yellow Springs, Ohio) from 1971 to 1973, Cyrille has also taught at the Graham Windham Home for Children in New York and is currently a faculty member at the New School for Social Research in New York City. His sterling work has earned him a number of grants and awards, mostly notably from Meet the Composer. Additionally, he has an educational video available from Alchemy Pictures.