CD Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet (CD 7025378),
Movie Mars Home Page
Welcome to MovieMars.com!
back to browsing
Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet
1. It's a Long Story, Pt. 1
2. Old Times
3. Sign of Life
4. Friend of Mine, Pt. 1
6. It's a Long Story, Pt. 2
7. Mother Daughter
10. Suitcase in My Hand
11. Sixty Four
12. Friend of Mine, Pt. 2
15. All the People, All the Time
17. As It Should Be
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SVY17818
Personnel: Bill Frisell (guitar); Jenny Scheinman (violin); Eyvind Kang (viola); Hank Roberts (cello).
Audio Mixer: Adam Muoz.
Recording information: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA.
Photographer: Michael Wilson .
Arrangers: Eyvind Kang; Hank Roberts; Jenny Scheinman; Bill Frisell.
After a five-year hiatus, Bill Frisell's 858 Quartet recorded their second offering. Their elliptical debut, Richter 858, was produced by poet David Breskin (who also helmed the sessions for Nels Cline's Dirty Baby), and accompanied an exhibition by German artist Gerhard Richter. The music on Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet was loosely composed by Frisell, and took shape in group rehearsals. 858's other members include violinist Jenny Scheinman, violist Eyvind Kang, and cellist Hank Roberts. Recorded at Fantasy Studios in San Francisco and produced by Lee Townsend, the 17 selections on this set feel very organic. The album opens with Americana-tinged themes in the two-part "It's a Long Story" that nod to country, folk, and even Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" in its melody. "Old Times" hints at bluegrass, blues, and ragtime, but because of the complex interplay between the four players, reaches far past them into a music that is 858's own. "Friend of Mine" is another two-part tune; that said, where a pastoral theme is suggested in part one, a more mischievous one responds in the second some eight tracks later. Elsewhere, improvised classical motifs, jazz modes, and folk and other roots musics shimmer through these compositions, sometimes simultaneously and often spontaneously. The haunted yet restrained "Painter," which clocks in at under two minutes, is a modal sketch immediately followed by an equally brief, slightly dissonant pointillistic exercise in counterpoint called "Teacher." "All the People, All the Time" returns to more accessible and resonant territory but, as gentle as it is, it's full of quiet surprises and unexpected twists. For all of its space and economical phrasing, "Village" is downright cartoon spooky, and "Suitcase in My Hand," which jaunts along in a striding, near reel, is transformed by Scheinman playing country-style fiddle, though the rhythmic signature never changes. "Sixty Four," with its pulsing time and repetitive, slightly shifting harmonic line, feels -- but not quite sounds -- like something Philip Glass might have written if he had a sense of humor, and is the only place on the record where Frisell lets somewhat ragged sonic edges into his playing. Sign of Life is a curious, quirky, and deceptively low-key affair that is musically labyrinthine and ambitious; it's full of gorgeous spaces, textures, utterly instinctive interplay, and unexpected delight. ~ Thom Jurek
Down Beat (p.49) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "In the most engaging passages, the music succeeds in evoking a particular atmosphere, rich in associations and connotations..."
JazzTimes (p.60) - "SIGN OF LIFE finds Frisell exploring chamber-group dynamics in ways that toggle between composition and improvisation, reverberating soundscapes and spiky minimalism."
Billboard (p.30) - "[M]ost of the set plays it on the quiet side, whether shimmery, languid or delicate. There's a gentle purity to this music that makes it unique in Frisell's catalog."
Be The First To Write A Review
In Stock -- Item Ships for FREE
Add to wishlist
What viewers like you said...
Have you listened to this album?
Be the first to write a review
Also suggested for you...
buy now for
buy now for
buy now for
buy now for
All rights reserved. This website and its contents are the exclusive property of Movie Mars, Inc. As such, reproduction in whole or in part, by any means, and any use for commercial purposes, of any portion of the material contained herein, including, but not limited to, text, graphics, logos, trademarks, photographs, video clips and sounds files is strictly prohibited. Portions of this page Copyright