Bill Frisell – Guitar
Thomas Morgan – Double Bass
Roulette’s spring season concludes with a duet performance from one of the earliest performers at Roulette, guitarist Bill Frisell, and bassist Thomas Morgan. The duo celebrates the release of their new album, Small Town, on ECM Records.
The album draws upon the poetic chemistry of Frisell and Morgan live at New York’s hallowed Village Vanguard. Small Town begins with a tribute to Motian in the form of a searching, 11-minute interpretation of the late drummer’s composition “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago,” the duo’s counterpoint yielding a hushed power. The album sees Frisell and Morgan pay homage to jazz elder Lee Konitz with his “Subconscious Lee,” along with several country / blues-accented Frisell originals, including the hauntingly melodic title track. The duo caps the set with an inimitable treatment of John Barry’s famous James Bond theme “Goldfinger.”
Thomas Morgan is a double bass player with a unique approach to the instrument and an exceptional musical understanding. He has appeared on several ECM albums of late, as bassist of choice for Tomasz Stanko, Jakob Bro, David Virelles, Giovanni Guidi and Masabumi Kikuchi. As one of the most in demand jazz bassists on the international scene, Morgan owes his success to his ability to stay in the moment and put his own signature on a classic instrument.
Bill Frisell made his debut as a leader for ECM in 1983 with the similarly intimate In Line. The guitarist’s rich history with the label also includes multiple recordings by his iconic cooperative trio with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano, culminating in Time and Time Again in 2007. Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 35 years and many celebrated recordings, whose catalog has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” Recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, Frisell was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012.