Sweetest Punch (Songs Of Costello & Bacharach) CD (1999)

Artist: Bill Frisell

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Product Overview


Label Uni/decca
SKU 60361101
UPC 731455986525
UPC 14 00731455986525
Format CD
Release Date 9/21/1999
Author Bill Frisell
Compilation Appearance Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music From Vintage Disney Films
Compilation Appearance Progressions:100 Years Of Jazz Guitar
Compilation Appearance Rogue Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys
Compilation Appearance Project-Anthology of American Folk Music
Compilation Appearance Civilians
Compilation Appearance Limits Of Control (Ost)
Associated Artist/Work Andersen, Arild
Associated Artist/Work Baker, Ginger
Associated Artist/Work Bruning, Dale
Technical Info
Engineer Joe Ferla; Judy Clapp
Producer Lee Townsend
CatalogID 5598652
Lable Name Decca
Released 09/21/1999
Original Release 1999
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 64m : 9s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00731455986525
Musical Guests
Don Byron
Viktor Krauss
Curtis Fowlkes
Ron Miles
Cassandra Wilson
Brian Blade
Album Notes and Credits
/Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach.
Personnel: Bill Frisell (acoustic & electric guitars); Elvis Costello, Cassandra Wilson (vocals); Billy Drewes (alto saxophone); Ron Miles (trumpet); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet); Viktor Krauss (bass); Brian Blade (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York.
Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals); Cassandra Wilson (vocals); Bill Frisell (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet); Billy Drewes (alto saxophone); Ron Miles (trumpet); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Brian Blade (drums, percussion).
Arranger: Bill Frisell.
When Elvis Costello, poet laureate of the post-punk generation, joined forces with '60s pop king Burt Bacharach for an album of new material, an immediate air of artistic importance was established. So much so that as soon as the songs were written, even before they were recorded, guitarist Bill Frisell began working on jazzy instrumental arrangements of them for a separate album.
Here Frisell is joined by jazz greats like Don Byron, Brian Blade, and Ron Miles, but they don't use the carefully crafted compositions as springboards for improvisation. To their credit, they avoid the natural temptation to approach these tunes like jazz standards. THE SWEETEST PUNCH is more of a classy instrumental pop album than anything else. Costello even makes a couple of vocal cameos, one in an effective duet with Cassandra Wilson on "I Still Have That Other Girl." Frisell and company do the songs proud, the sophisticated arrangements complementing Bacharach's deceptively complex (but immediately accessible) harmonic sensibilities.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (9/30/99, p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[revives] the master's dynamic orchestrations and elegant drifts and still [moves] forward. Eclectic guitarist Bill Frisell offers a debonair solution on this set of arrangements..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/15/99, p.83) - "...Frisell turns an intriguing concept into a lovely and mostly instrumental project....[His] attitude toward idiom is slippery and generous." - Rating: B
CMJ (11/1/99, p.30) - "...Bill Frisell set out to record a full band interpretation of [Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's] PAINTED FROM MEMORY using a cast of stars....Frisell's distinctly different versions bear the leader's stamp both as a player and as an arranger."
JazzTimes (12/99, pp.147-8) - "...Frisell works up soulful, horn chart-laced readings of the songs, with such comrades as drummer Brian Blades, Don Byron, Ron Miles, and Curtis Fowlkes....This is brainy music...with beauty in mind, which makes the like-minded closet romantic Frisell a perfect match."
Disc 1
1 Sweetest Punch, The
2 Toledo
3 Such Unlikely Lovers
4 This House Is Empty Now
5 Painted From Memory - (featuring Cassandra Wilson)
6 What's Her Name Today?
7 In The Darkest Place
8 Vamp Dolice
9 My Thief
10 I Still Have That Other Girl - (featuring Cassandra Wilson)
11 Painted From Memory - (reprise)
12 Long Division, The
13 Tears At The Birthday Party
14 I Still Have That Other Girl - (reprise)
15 God Give Me Strength

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