|Beautiful Dreamers deserts the overt Americana of Good Dog, Happy Man (Nonesuch, 1999), yet there's still something indefinably American about the guitarist's writing, which accounts for ten of the disc's sixteen tracks. His covers traverse a broad terrain of distinctly American music, ranging from the visceral blues of Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's Fault" and Benny Goodman's swinging "Benny's Bugle" (where Royston channels Gene Krupa, but without the bluster and bombast), to a wry take on the Little Anthony and the Imperials hit, "Goin' Out of My Head" (Kang's pizzicato the melodic front line), and the iconic title track, which coalesces from the ether, its familiar theme only emerging at the song's end.
In the most understated way possible, Beautiful Dreamers' special intimacy, quiet joy and constant sound of surprise represent a shift in Frisell's music. Moving away from project specificity and, instead, towards a consolidation of the guitarist's multifaceted interests, it's a beautiful way, indeed, to kick-start this relationship with a new label.
from: John Kelman, All About Jazz , August 2010
Bill Frisell, guitar
Eyvind Kang, viola
Rudy Royston, drums