Fort Myers News-Press, November 12, 1999

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The Sweetest Punch

Bill Frisell

The News-Press

In one of the odder, yet more successful attempts at artistic synergy, Elvis Costello gave guitarist and arranger Frisell the charts of the songs Costello wrote and recorded in 1997 with Burt Bacharach.

Frisell, without hearing the tracks in progress, then went into the studio with some of his favorite musicians, including clarinetist Don Byron and bassist Viktor Krauss and created his own song cycle from the same pop pathos that produced Painted From Memory.

Under Frisell, minor songs like "The Long Division" and "Tears at the Birthday Party" have their complex harmonics exposed and enhanced, while the big show ballads, like "The House is Empty Now," and "I Still Have that Other Girl" get repainted in darker, more subtle hues.

Costello and Cassandra Wilson perform a point-counterpoint duet on the latter song, while Wilson whispers the impossibly lovely "Painted From Memory to that sad place Billie Holiday knew all so well.

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The News-Press, November 12, 1999


The News-Press reviews The Sweetest Punch.

Images

1999-11-12 Fort Myers News-Press page G18.jpg
Page scan.

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