Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bill Frisell - The Sweetest Punch (1999)


The recent rainy weather has put me in the mood to listen to this CD. It features instrumental versions of the songs written by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello for their 1998 CD, Painted From Memory. Bacharach's songwriting ability can't be questioned, so all the material here is strong as are Frisell's arrangements. The track order is different on the 2 CDs, but both sequences serve the material well. The two releases were worked on simultaneously. From Frisell's liner notes: "This recording was done in New York while Burt and Elvis were working in Los Angeles on Painted From Memory. None of us heard what the others were doing until we all finished." Amazing. While it is human nature to compare the two releases, I enjoy them both on their own terms - there's no need for me to declare one better than the other.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: I like most cuts, but the standouts for me are The Sweetest Punch & Such Unlikely Lovers. Vocals are added by Elvis Costello on Toledo, by Cassandra Wilson on Painted From Memory (not my favorite track); the two duet on I Still Have That Other Girl. There's one original piece on here titled Vamp Dolce, which is an interesting piece that weaves thematic material from other songs on the CD into an original work (it's no Bacharach piece, though).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember letting my friend James borrow my Painted From Memory CD because his wife was a big Elvis Costello fan. However, I forced this CD on him as well, telling him that he'd probably enjoy these versions as well. I think he ended up buying copies of both CDs for himself.

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