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Post new topic Bill Frisell - Where Do We Go?
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Author Topic:  Bill Frisell - Where Do We Go?
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 11:33 am    
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I've been working on the Bill Frisell tune "Where Do We Go?" from his classic "Blues Dream" album. It's in 3/4 time, key of D. I have the chords for the head charted out, but I get totally lost in the blues-oriented jam in the middle. I can't even figure out where to start counting. I'd like to land on the harmony horn parts at the right time, and understand how they line up with the chord progression. Any help would be appreciated.

Here are the chords for the head:

Tab:
D      D      G      A
D      A      G      D
D      D      G      A
D      A      G      D
D      A      Bm     G
D      A      Bm     F#m
A      G      D      D


It's a great album, by the way, with lots of steel by Greg Leisz.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 3:56 pm    
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Bob, the solo section is a vamp in D7 with no chord changes. Simply pay attention to the 4 bar phrase that the bass plays. He repeats it constantly through the solo section. I’m not sure what the cue is for the horns, but you might be able to count bars and figure out where to place it.

The horn parts in the solo section do not correspond in any way with the harmony of the tune.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 4:31 pm    
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Is it just me, or do the horns sound flat? Neutral
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 5:46 pm    
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Here's a YouTube of it:

https://youtu.be/PBRDc7g7CvA
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 5:55 pm    
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So Mike, do you think that the horns are counting bars to start together, or is Frisell cueing them? Those are some mighty cool horn parts. Cool It does seem like he's cueing the end of the jam by playing a certain phrase 4 times.

Donny, the horns don't sound flat to me but they are playing some unexpected notes. Whoa!

I'm starting to think that, in the center section, there's a 16-bar trio intro and then a written horn part that repeats. I lose track of the time in it - the drummer is whacked. Greg and Bill jam over that whole section. Then everyone goes back to the head to finish it.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 6:46 pm    
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b0b wrote:


I'm starting to think that, in the center section, there's a 16-bar trio intro and then a written horn part that repeats. I lose track of the time in it - the drummer is whacked. Greg and Bill jam over that whole section. Then everyone goes back to the head to finish it.


Just listen to the 4 bar bass phrase. It’s the one constant. The time still stays the same. I think the horns are being cued.

The horns are definitely on the money.
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post  Posted 28 May 2019 9:01 am    
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The maj/min 3 tone is pretty fluid in a lot of Bill's open modal solo sections. The horn parts reflects that. They play the 3, -3, 9, with a flat 7 above. I'd treat this solo section more like a D-7 (dorian), and don't lean too hard on the minor 3rd for too long.
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post  Posted 28 May 2019 9:06 am    
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Timing-wise, sounds like 3/4 straight through to me. The drummer just comes down on beats other than 1 a few times.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 28 May 2019 9:18 am    
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Thanks, Brett! Cool
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post  Posted 28 May 2019 9:36 am    
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You bet b0b! I love analyzing stuff.

Another thing you could try is superimposing other chords that fit the structure of that D7/D-7 modal jam.

Maybe try moving a harmonized scale up through F lydian, which would give you the notes of D-7 (dorian). And if you want more of a D7 sound, you could try C lydian/A-13. It's all the same notes, but thinking about a different chord like that can help create a lift in your phrasing.
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John Alexander


Post  Posted 28 May 2019 12:13 pm    
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To me the meter sounds more like Sleepwalk than Waltz Across Texas - in other words compound rather than simple meter.

The predominant snare hits are like the backbeat of a rock ballad, in slow 4/4 time. The lowest notes of the ostinato bass line, which are the harmonic roots, alternate with the snare hits in a steady 1-2-3-4 pattern with the bass low note on 1 and 3, and the snare on 2 and 4.

The "3" feel of it comes from the triplet subdivision of each quarter note. It goes so slowly that each quarter note sounds like a measure of 3/4, but the bass and drums tell you that it's a bigger compound meter.

Could be notated in 4/4 (or 2/4) with triplets, or 12/8 (or 6/8) without triplets.

Compare All Blues by Miles Davis - similar bass line:

https://www.scribd.com/document/364796191/All-Blues-bass-line-pdf
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 28 May 2019 3:28 pm    
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I counted the measures as 3/4 when I did the chord chart. The jam in the middle swings like All Blues, so I see what you're sayin'.
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 6:43 am    
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He's released a whole bunch before and after Blues Dream, but still, that remains my favorite Frisell album, in no small part because of Leisz's contribution. The horns are great throughout as well, often used in unexpected ways. Like the tags in the Tractor.

Dissonance & juxtaposition are Frisell's calling cards. His albums are longform, challenging, and rewarding to those who like to pay attention to what he's doing.

Disfarmer is another fabulous album.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 8:39 am    
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If you count it in 6/8, the guitars improvise over two 16-bar sections. The horns play basically the same 12-bar chordal phrase over each section, alternating between major and minor modes, and laying out of the last 4 bars of the sections. The alternating maj/m could be thought of as I/IV changes, or I/bIII, I suppose, but the bass just hangs on that dom 7th riff (with a major 3rd) over the tonic chord.

In other words, the horn section is the cue. The bass line may be the rock steady pulse of the groove, but it might be a challlenge to keep track of where those 16-bar sections start and end without the horns. Especially if the steeler and guitarist are spacing out 🀠. The repeating guitar riff at the end of the second time around may have been a cue to go back to the head instead of going to round 3.

Just my take on it. It doesn’t sound free form to me, but it is a magnificent illusion.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 10:20 am    
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Chris - Bill Frisell is my favorite guitarist. I have many of his albums. "Blues Dream" is the first one people should buy. Lots of really nice steel guitar by Greg Leisz.

Fred - thanks for that analysis. Very helpful.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 10:59 am    
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That is a great piece. I had to go smoke.

It's pitchy all over in a good way. Frisell can be as bluesy as the next, and virtually every guitarist of a time is represented here
in a totally loose vibe with an edge, to the extent that the time seems to slip around. Just great.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 12:57 pm    
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Dang. I lost count again. Embarassed
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 2:56 pm    
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Just counted it again, and I’ll revise. In 6/8, the Solo section goes
A) 8 bars of intro with bass in front
B) 16 bars guitars with horns
C) 4 bars guitars go wild, horns drop out
Repeat B & C and then back to head, which makes more sense in 3/4, like b0b’s chart.

I’m calling the bass riff one bar of 6/8, but there is a two-note approach at the end of one bar leading into the next, which adds some swing. So you could call it a 2-bar riff too.


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Dave Little


From:
Atlanta
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2019 1:59 pm    
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I'll go with 6/8 too.
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Henry Nagle


From:
Santa Rosa, California
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2019 10:59 pm    
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Great tune. I love the loose intuitive feel that Frisell seems to foster in all his music.
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