Bill Frisell - All Hat [Original Soundtrack]

Bill Frisell - All Hat [Original Soundtrack]
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Original Score, Soundtracks
All Hat [Original Soundtrack]

All Hat is the soundtrack to the 2007 Leonard Farlinger film of the same name. Based on the brilliant novel by Brad Smith (who also wrote the screenplay), Farlinger's film is set in Ontario and involves an ex-baseball playing ex-con, a transplanted Texas cowboy who farms and raises losing race horses, a gambling addict and tycoon who wants to take over the town's farms to build a casino and hotel.

Inserted into this is Frisell's score, built on his rootsy Americana side of fully fleshed out on his classic Nashville album with some of the same players: Viktor Krauss is here, as is Greg Leisz, and so are violinist Jenny Scheinman, drummer Scott Amendola, and Mark Graham on harmonica. Even though the score commences with Frisell's own interpretation of country, bluegrass, and folk and rock, it feels more like his impersonation -- with his signature sound of course -- of a Ry Cooder film score. This may not be an entirely fair characterization because Cooder as a guitarist set a new standard and created a new way to score movies in the modern era. It's also not a criticism. Frisell's cues range from basic instrumentation to some distorted guitar loops to some beautifully reverb-laden playing with gorgeous lap, pedal, and National steel guitars from Leisz. Krauss, a bluegrass player by nature, is the most rocksteady rhythm-nator around. Scheinman gets to gloss things over with her newfound hard-edged country and blues playing -- check "Stable Scene" and the funky "Sting." Characters are given their own themes, and in Frisell's soundworld this becomes an effective narrative flow when it comes to the film's images. The music here does tend to go by in a blur if you're not paying attention, but that's because of its crystalline character and tasteful subtlety.

There's a lot going on here all the time. It's beautiful throughout and highly recommended for fans of Frisell's more Americana related material. It's a wonder that EmArcy didn't give this more of a push when it was released.

John Hardy / TraditionalBill Frisell2:05
Opening Theme / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:57
Meet the Stantons / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:55
Chrissies Fall / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:25
Peckerwood / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:43
Hardy Race / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:13
Empty Barn / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:31
Stable Scene / Bill FrisellBill Frisell2:06
Sting / Bill FrisellBill Frisell2:14
Etta Interlude / Bill FrisellBill Frisell2:34
Theme Version 2 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell2:08
Chrissies Theme / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:56
Theme Version 3 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:52
Empty Barn, Pt. 2 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:03
Stanton Theme / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:57
Interlude, Pt. 2 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:39
John Hardy/Ray Returns to Etta / Bill Frisell / TraditionalBill Frisell4:02
Ray Driving / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:49
Empty Barn, Pt. 3 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:34
Theme (Part 4) / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:26
Ray and Etta / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:10
Jackson's Epiphany / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:35
Hardy Bar Song / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:56
Theme, Pt. 5/Waltz / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:36
Interlude, Pt. 3 / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:59
Hardy Duet / Bill FrisellBill Frisell4:01
Chrissie in the Meadow / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:55
Sonny's Losing Montage / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:44
Last Race / Bill FrisellBill Frisell1:40
Etta's Theme / Bill FrisellBill Frisell0:34
End Credits / Bill FrisellBill Frisell3:27

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