Bill Frisell has been making his guitar tell stories for more than 40 years.

His push to innovate and create new sounds has made him one of the most respected musicians in jazz. Trying to define the music that Frisell makes has always been a fool’s errand, but in it lies the entire history of American music.

This year, Frisell added to his long discography with a second album for Blue Note called Valentine. It’s the first recording of his trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston, after many years of playing together. Produced by longtime collaborator Lee Townsend, the 13-track album mixes originals, jazz standards, traditional songs and covers.

Frisell spoke to us about how he’s been coping with life in 2020, how the new album came together, and why he feels lucky to have the “magic” connection that he has with his bandmates.