Bill Frisell has long been recognized as possessing one of the most unique voices in jazz guitar. On Where in the World?, he is joined by his frequent compatriots Joey Baron and Kermit Driscoll, as well as cellist Hank Roberts, for ten compositions that catch Frisell right on the cusp of his earlier days and his later, more melody-driven, work. As expected, the supporting cast is excellent, with Joey Baron especially making notable contributions. His solo on "Child at Heart" is a perfect analog to the spirit of Frisell's music, pairing the completely expected with the completely unexpected. A pervading sense of melancholy and unrest runs through Where in the World?, creating tension even when the music is at its quietest. Some ofRead more this music is downright spooky. "Unsung Heroes," for example, opens with an ominous drum groove from Baron before introducing a wailing theme doubled by Roberts and Frisell over a twisted, almost bluesy, bass ostinato. This tendency to pair beautiful melodies with dense, introspective harmony works better on Where in the World? than anywhere else in Frisell's extremely strong catalog. As for the guitarist's own playing, it is as beautiful as always. He floats ethereal melodies seemingly with the same ease (and, more importantly, from the same coherent musical mindset) as he lets loose feedback-drenched wails. One of the high points of '90s jazz guitar, Where in the World? is essential for fans of modern jazz.
-- Daniel Gioffre, Allmusic.com
1. Unsung Heroes
2. Rob Roy
4. Child at Heart
5. Beautiful E.
7. Smilin' Jones
8. Where in the World?
9. Worry Doll
10. Let Me In
Bill Frisell Band: Bill Frisell (guitar, ukulele); Hank Roberts (fiddle, cello); Kermit Driscoll (bass); Joey Baron (drums).
Principally recorded at Dreamland Studios, Woodstock, New York in October 1990 and at Power Station, New York, New York in February 1991.
Composer: Bill Frisell.
Personnel: Bill Frisell (guitar, ukulele); Hank Roberts (fiddle, cello); Joey Baron (drums).
Audio Mixer: Roger Moutenot.
Recording information: Dreamland Recording Studios, Woodstock, NY; Power Station Studios, New York, NY.