Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones
1  Outlaws   7:55
2  Twenty Years   3:15
3  Coffaro's Theme   4:51
4  Blues Dream   4:48
5  Moon River   6:26
  Henry Mancini
6  Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa   9:07
7  Strange Meeting   5:26
8  Convict 13   3:56
9  Again   7:33
10  Hard Times   3:41
  Stephen Fostoer
11  Justice & Honor   4:49
12  Smilin' Jones   5:02

Frisell's career and playing have reached a kind of plateau in the past few years. After his playing with scores of ECM folks and prickly downtowners in the 1980s, Frisell's solo work in the 1990s has been comparitively quite tame. Post-quartet his work has been less experimental and more the work of an established master of his art constantly putting himself in new settings. I tend to prefer his composing and arranging work from this period, stuff like Quartet, Blues Dream and The Sweetest Punch show Frisell's great ear ensemble arranging and are stunningly beautiful. They also His other work has been mostly collaborations with interesting people: be they bluegrass legends on Nashville, veteran studio drummer Jim Keltner on Gone, pianist Fred Hersch or, in this case, Elvin Jones and Dave Holland, two of the best damn jazz musicians now or ever. This latter set of albums Frisell rests on his years of experience and simply plays. While the composing albums seem to challenge himself and the players with new arrangements and situations, albums like the literally titled Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones sound great, but won't really surprise anyone who is familiar with Frisell's playing.

That aside, this is a pretty amazing album. To hear Frisell play with such an amazing rhythm section is incredible. It is pretty interesting to compare Frisell's ensemble playing in many of the trio's his been in: the Bill Frisell Band with Joey Baron and Kermit Driscoll, his trio with Jim Keltner and Viktor Krauss, and the Ginger Baker Trio with Ginger (yup, old Cream drummer) and bassist Charlie Haden. The playing on this album sounds closest to that last trio, but of course Baker is no Elvin Jones, who seems to get inside Frisell's sound with that gorgeous polyrhythmic haze of his. For anyone who hasn't heard Jones play outside of the Coltrane Quartet you're in for a surprise, he is a remarkably subtle and gifted accompaniest in quiet settings as well. Dave Holland is very restrained, but just adds so much with so little.

Another thing that occurs to me as I listen to this album is how interesting it is to hear Holland and Jones play off of Frisell's characteristic loops, delays and electronic tinklings.