Bill Frisell/John Lennon

I just picked up Bill Frisell's new record of John Lennon covers. Some of the tempos are slower and Frisell's "airy" style often emphasizes melody more than rhythm, but overall this is the best set of Beatle covers I've ever heard. Probably not for Beatles purists, but if you can be flexible, this one is terrific. Greg Leisz does a great job on slide and the songs even rock a bit here and there.

A bit less sold than you, Marty. I've never been a huge Beatles fan, but even so I found the Frisell covers a bit muzak-y. Perfectly fine background, and I'm not sorry I bought it, but I didn't find it especially compelling, given the excellent players.

Just my 2c, of course.

Thanks for the heads up. Sounds interesting. I have been enjoying Kevn Kinney and the Golden Palomino's "A Good Country Mile." On this one, the Drivn n Cryn front man teams up with Anton Fier and some great NY session players to create Kinney's best solo effort. If you like alt-country/Americana with a little electric guitar, you will like this. Check out "Bird" and "In the Land...." The other cool one I am wading through is "Chimes of Freedom- the Songs of Bob Dylan." This is a 4 disc set of cover songs benefiting Amnesty Intl. There are 73 songs by various artists. When it is good, it is great (Bryan Ferry, Steve Earle, Pete Townshend), but when it is bad, it is REALLY bad (Miley Cyrus, Kei$ha). However, there is a lot of quality material here for an attractive price. I bought a used copy off of amazon for $15 which is great for a 4 cd package.
I had been a big Frisell fan but lost my way with him over the last few albums but I am very pleased with this release.
I agree wholeheartedly with Maxnewid about "Chimes of Freedom." Lots of interesting takes on great songs, from excellent people I'd not heard of, like Zee Avi. I much prefer it to the "usual dinosaurs" 30th anniversary concert. Hilariously, the Miley Cyrus cut is among my favorite on Chimes, so I disagree with Maxnewid there. Takes all kinds to make a world, my father used to say.

Ok, back to Bill!

I understand John's reaction in that these interpretations de-emphsize the rhythms and the result has less r'n'r urgency. Sometimes the rhythms are picked up by fiddle - which I think works pretty well. At the end of the day, though, it's way that the melodies and harmonies are carried by Frisell on lead and Leisz on lap steel that I really love.

As I noted in my OP, not for every taste.
I'm a guitar player (Frisell's age) and jazz fan and I discovered his stuff late, although I knew he was around. I've since seen him in concert a few times, and have been astonished at his musical choices, chops, and restraint. He requires active listening and for that you can be rewarded...he is astonishingly prolific (see Bonnie Raitt's new album), and just does what he does seemingly not concerned about anything but the music itself. That's an artist. His stuff might not set your head on fire at first blush, but "All We Are Saying" fits right in there as a group of brilliant musicians interpreting music with originality, and that is refreshing to me. A recent show featuring Eyvind Kang & Rudy Royston was one of the most interesting, original, and profoundly beautiful live shows I've ever seen.