In the midst of touring and playing reimagined folk songs at FreshGrass with Harmony, Bill Frisell released something in a different vein. On Sept. 15, Hurricane Harvey Relief dropped on the inventive jazz guitarist’s site. All proceeds, including the royalties of everyone affiliated with the project, go directly to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Release Fund.
For the compilation’s timeliness, its selections are live cuts from some of Frisell’s stronger early- and mid-aughts records. A 2006 recording of “1968,” for instance, is three times the length of the album version on Unspeakable, allowing the minimalistic jazz-funk of this tune to really open up and breathe. In a 2003 recording of “Ron Carter,” from a show in Budapest, Frisell exchanges languid phrases with pedal steel player Greg Leisz while drummer David Piltch builds a foundation of deconstructed blues. And “Lazy Robinson” finds Frisell gleefully exploring the fancy gadgets on his pedalboard. These are sparse, beautiful recordings – indeed, that’s Frisell’s trademark – compiled here for a humanitarian cause.
Downloads of Hurricane Harvey Relief cost $16.99 for FLAC or $12.99 for AAC or MP3.