Posts Tagged ‘rudy royston’

REVIEW: Bill Frisell, Eyvind Kang & Rudy Royston @ the Shedd (Eugene, OR – – 6/7/08)

8th Jun 08 (Sun) 7 comments


Last night was my first time seeing all three gentlemen: Bill Frisell, Eyvind Kang, and Rudy Royston. I hope it is not my last.

I’m a big fan of Eyvind from his work with Secret Chiefs 3, Mr. Bungle, solo works on Tzadik & Ipecac (and other indie avant labels). On the upper right of every page on this blog, I have a quote attributed to Eyvind Kang: “I believe that music should be grown on trees, to be plucked like a fruit without the extravagance of harvest.” There’s just something about jazz (and the show last night) where this is most appropriate. Sure, much of Bill Frisell’s music is structured, melodic, and hinting at a modicum of “harvest,” as it were. However, it definitely lives and breathes and is open for exploration within the structure.

Probably the best proof of this with regards to last night’s show was that Eyvind (viola) and Rudy (drums) had only met 4 or 5 hours prior to the show. This was the world premiere of the Frisell/Kang/Royston trio. Judging by how they played so well together, I would have thought they met at least 7 hours prior. ;) No, seriously, they seemed like long-time jam partners. It was great to see the immediacy of the musical “fruit plucking.”

The trio played just over 90 minutes straight-through (with one short break prior to an encore piece), probably anywhere between 6 or 8 pieces. They started with 5 minutes or so of experimental flexing, bordering on avant-garde. By the next piece, Bill Frisell began laying down the melodies that worked well with this trio setting. Many times Eyvind and Bill mirrored each other’s melodies, but Eyvind still was able to cut loose on his own. Rudy knew how to play subtly, but he did let loose a few times as well, especially near the end of their set.

I just got Bill’s new one (History, Mystery); so I don’t know if the songs were from that or not, or just base melodies with improvisation. The set as a whole was very melodic, yet explorative. At several times, Bill pulled out what I thought was an e-bow, but it ended up being a music box that he was playing near his guitar pickup then through an echoplex-type looping device. Very harmonic tones… which would have been intriguing to have gotten from using guitar harmonic picking and an e-bow… alas, I was wrong.

Odd note: again, this was my first time seeing Bill Frisell. Does he always avoid facing the audience? He seemed to be facing towards Eyvind the whole night (so slightly away from the crowd). I never saw his hands or the front of the guitar all night. Odd, but at least the sound was sublime.

This was Bill’s fourth show at The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts over the years. That’s a good indication that he’ll be back. To that I say, “yay!” I hope he brings Eyvind and Rudy with him.

The appropriate links:

In completely unreleated to Frisell/Kang/Royston news, but posted here since I didn’t want to add another post to “the pile”… you can listen to Sigur Rós‘ upcoming album (Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust) streaming here before it comes out in a couple of weeks: medsud-dot


~Dan – np: Ken LasterJazz & Beyond podcast (link)

all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

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