Bill Frisell, When You Wish Upon A Star (Okeh)
Much of guitarist Frisell’s early exposure to music was by way of the sound tracks of motion pictures and television programs. His versions of some of that music show up on several of his albums. When You Wish Upon A Star takes his fascination a long step further. It contains nothing but his interpretations of music from screens large and small, going back to 1940 for the title track. Most of the pieces, however, are from his formative years in the 1950s and later. The themes played by his quintet include works by sound track heroes Mancini, Mandel, Morricone, Raksin, Barry, Hermann and Rota, with Dale Evans (“Happy Trails”) and Frisell himself (“Tales From The Far Side”) added for good measure. The band is Frisell, vocalist Petra Haden, violist Eyvind Kang, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston. They blend, contrast, surprise and amuse. Concentrated listening is rewarded.