Gone, Just Like A Train

COMPOSERS: Bill Frisell
LABELS: Nonesuch
PERFORMER: Bill Frisell (el g, g); Viktor Krauss (b); Jim Keltner (d, perc)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79479-2

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In Bill Frisell’s long, handwritten booklet notes for Gone, Just Like A Train, he describes his enthusiasm for the playing of drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Viktor Krauss, concluding: ‘Like Jim, Victor has found his own unique way of playing. They both have a lot going on under the surface. Things aren’t always what they seem. Paradox. What I love about music is what cannot be explained. Mystery. These guys have it.’

Frisell himself also has it, and there is an almost miraculous fittingness about the warm, unhurried music this trio have created. All 15 listed titles were composed by Frisell and seem profoundly rooted in his American heritage – musical, social and domestic. There are even pieces called ‘Godson Song’ and ‘The Wife and Kid’, both lyrical outings with a folk or country rock feel, and the latter performance with some eloquent bass by Krauss. ‘Egg Radio’ sounds like a bit of local history, with its strong backbeat, its hint of Fifties rock ‘n’ roll, and its Seventies loud electric climaxes.

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‘Ballroom’ develops into a kind of slow foxtrot with Frisell’s Romantic melody and Keltner using brushes, while the title track has a wild rocky tango rhythm, yodelling guitar and powerful drums. The huge variety of music, handled with unfailing artistry by the trio, has considerable humanity and optimism.