Big Sur

Big Sur

Bill Frisell’s music often evokes America’s heartland, but this album was inspired by the titular Pacific coast region. A superb string-dominated quintet includes violist Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts, and violinist Jenny Scheinman to help Frisell connect heartland twang with oceanic grandeur. Propelled by the economical drumming of the empathic Rudy Royston, the guitarist rocks on the surf-inspired “The Big One,” but the contemplative chamber vibe of “Gather Good Things” and ambling gait of “We All Love Neil Young” indicate the album’s expressive poles.

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