Bill Frisell: a Portrait

If you can’t make it to his Wellington Jazz Festival performance, the New Zealand International Film Festival offers the best consolation going. The perfect balance of talking heads and sustained performance, Emma Franz’s documentary delivers an entrancing two hours in the company of jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

“It’s clear that Bill Frisell is a guitarist, composer and multiple bandleader who may be the nicest, most admirable guy – not just in jazz, but in music, period. But Bill Frisell: A Portrait – Emma Franz’s captivating two-hour documentary about an artist who, at a healthy-looking age 65, is a long way from finished but, with hundreds of recorded appearances and a personal discography of nearly forty albums, is long overdue this kind of detailed look – reveals so much about Frisell the musician and the man.

A deep thinker who nevertheless tries, when he plays and composes, not to think too much, Frisell may also be one of the most humble, generous and honest artists on any scene. The beauty of Franz’s film is that it comes about as close to capturing just who he is as anyone who has had the pleasure of getting to know him to even a small degree will know.” — John Kelman, All About Jazz

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Last updated: 11 June 2019