"Remedios the Beauty" is a short composition appearing on Frisell's 1988 ECM release, Lookout for Hope. It takes its name from Remedios the Beauty, a character in One Hundred Years of Solitude who possesses such unearthly beauty that Heaven eventually lifts her straight off the earth.
The piece is one of the outstanding tunes on an already strong album, and features Frisell playing several guitars to very interesting effect. The song starts off very slowly, building itself up from a nebulous mix of wavering guitar distortions and tentative percussion. A foundational motif appears on the guitar, mysterious and slightly exotic. Soon the bass pairs with the drums, providing a slow beat for Frisell's remarkable guitar interplay, at first a jazzy solo given a halo of eerie washes and electronic effects reminiscent of Robert Fripp. Two-thirds into the song, an acoustic guitar enters, picking its way soulfully through the snakey rhythm until the earlier motif returns as the song drifts away, dropping bits of itself over the final fading repetitons.
"Remedios the Beauty" is on 1988's Lookout for Hope, put out by ECM (Track 4, playing time 6:18). Overall its a quite an engaging album, and one that rewards repeated listening. The Bill Frisell Band has a unique sound, and manages to move from sweetness to atonal eerieness without losing a sense of consistency and focus. The addition of a cello darkens the feel of the music, which is occasionally sharpened by some lovely acoustic touches.
Lookout For Hope
Bill Frisell Band / Audio CD / Released 1994
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