Bill Frisell biography chronicles jazz guitarist’s influential career

A biography of acclaimed jazz guitarist Bill Frisell is coming to bookstores this month.

Authored by U.K. music journalist Philip Watson, Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed the Sound of American Music chronicles Frisell’s life and career as “one of the most innovative and influential musicians at work today,” according to a synopsis.

The biography will trace Frisell’s early years playing clarinet in orchestras and marching bands and follow him through the many stages and personas of  his professional career: a devotee of jazz master Jim Hall, house guitarist for ECM Records, edgy New York experimentalist, plaintive country and bluegrass picker, pioneering bandleader, prolific composer and arranger, and celebrated Grammy Award winner.

Watson had “unprecedented” access to the guitarist and conducted interviews with his close family, friends and associates in order to tell Frisell’s story. The book also features exclusive “listening sessions” with Paul Simon, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Gus Van San, Rhiannon Giddens, The Bad Plus, Gavin Bryars and more.
It’s the first book by Watson, who previously served as deputy editor at GQ and editor-at-large at Esquire. His in-depth features have also appeared in The Telegraph Magazine, the Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Observer and other publications.

Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed the Sound of American Music will be published May 24 as a hardcover and e-book.


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