Bill Frisell og Trondheim Jazzorkester
Frisell led them into jazz, and now Ole Morten Vågan and Eirik Hegdal are going to arrange songs from his entire discography. - We hope we dare to be a little more than just fanboys...
A young and relatively unknown Bill Frisell was selected in 1981 to be the guitarist in Arild Andersen's dream band, resulting in the legendary evening documented on the album "A Molde Concert" (ECM).
Since then, Frisell has performed at ten editions of the festival, and even more concerts. He has influenced countless musicians around the world, and Norway is no exception.
Perhaps what Terje Mosnes calls "verbally quiet, but sonically explosive" in Dagbladet has struck a chord in Norway – both with audiences and performers alike. With experimental potential in every sound cell, yet a uniqueness deeply rooted in traditional music.
Former and current artistic director of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Eirik Hegdal and Ole Morten Vågan, are both highly enthusiastic about Bill Frisell. They have been playing together since their early years of study and have a shared musical background.
"I heard Bill Frisell for the first time when I was in Molde, with Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Marc Johnson in the cinema. By then, we had already heard about Bill Frisell from guitarist Nils-Olav Johansen. I have a strong connection to his earliest albums and know his entire discography well. He is one of those who inspired me to play jazz."
And even though the project's design is still on the drawing board, there are already some key points to be made about the connection between Frisell and the Norwegian jazz heritage.
Vågan further explains that they are trying to grasp the material as well as Frisell himself does, with his music, in a creative way. The starting point is that Vågan and Hegdal will each lead their own sextet, with Bill in the middle.
"We might play around with each other a bit, play two songs simultaneously, and things like that. It's a bit like a lab, really."
They will perform songs from Frisell's entire discography, arranged by Hegdal and Vågan, and perhaps we will also hear arrangements of unreleased material.
Furthermore, Vågan highlights that Frisell's music has always had a very transparent sound.
"All the voices come through very clearly. There are clear arches that are easy to maneuver in. It's cool to preserve that, and it's good when you bring the music to a large ensemble. Frisell is a good improviser, and influential as such. So, maybe you can't write too much and too massively."
For those with extra time and massive curiosity, they can indulge in the Dutch documentary in the video below, while we wait to find out what the concert will become.