FEATURE > BILL FRISELL
Tucker to figure out a way to get it all into
a manageable one hour of music. It’s kind
of a luxury. If it were my own record, then
I would be sweating over every little second
of it and worrying about this and that.
Floratone II happened over an even longer
period than Floratone.
This approach must involve an extremely
high level of trust from all parties involved.
All of these people are super close-and-trusted
friends I’ve worked with a lot. Lee, I’ve done
Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way and Bitches
Brew, two albums that had a profound
impact on the budding guitarist. “Those
records are gigantic inspirations,” says
Frisell. “For me, it was sort of like The
Beatles, as far as being huge and basically
changing my life.” Floratone’s self-titled
debut was released several years ago and
received critical acclaim. The collab-
orative recently released the follow-up,
Floratone II, which also features appear-
ances by industry legends Jon Brion and
Floratone really blurs the line
between improvisation and compo-
sition. Can you explain the band’s
unique writing process?
Of all the things I’ve done, Floratone is
definitely the most studio-involved. Most
of my own music is more of a documen-
tation of a band or some composition
that I write, and it sort of captures what-
ever happens in a particular couple of
days. The germ or the seed of Floratone
comes from this wide-open improvising
with Matt Chamberlain and myself—it’s
a completely spontaneous thing. We’d go
in the studio for a day or two, and put
hours of stuff on tape, and then just leave
Tucker Martine and Lee Townsend with
this big mess of stuff. We give them the
tapes and let them go wherever they want
to, and it’s wild to hear what comes back.
Did you edit the tapes before present-
ing the music to them?
They just take the whole thing. So much
of the responsibility is up to Lee and
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