Bill Frisell Announces ‘Valentine’ Album & Shares ‘We Shall Overcome’ Cover


Guitarist Bill Frisell will release a new album entitled Valentine on August 21 through Blue Note Records. The record features Frisell joined by bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston and as well as an instrumental cover of “We Shall Overcome,” which was shared as the lead single.

“I’ve been playing the song for years, and I’m going to keep playing it till there is no need anymore,” Frisell said of the Civil Rights anthem. “I can’t help but hope that day will come.”

Frisell worked with frequent cohort Lee Townsend to produce the 13-track Valentine. The album was recorded by Tucker Martine at his Flora Recording facility in Portland and is made up of a mix of new and old Frisell originals alongside jazz standards, traditionals like “We Shall Overcome” and other covers.

Frisell detailed Valentine, explaining:

This album is all about Rudy and Thomas and the musical relationship I have with them. We’ve played a lot for a number of years, but there was no evidence of it, so I really wanted to have a document of it, if only to show that it’s real and not this magical thing that I’ve imagined in my fantasies…

There’s the physical mathematics of a trio. There is so much strength in it – it can lean to one side, but it will still stay up. The music is about everyone trusting each other to the point where everybody’s in the state of mind where you don’t know what’s going to happen next, and you feel safe enough to try anything. It’s like when you’re dreaming and you’re on the edge of a cliff, and you know on a certain level that it’s a dream, so you can just jump off. With this music, we could do that. All three of us could take big chances, and we’d always be rescued. It’s about the trust that makes risks possible.

Listen to the Valentine closing track “We Shall Overcome” below:

Valentine Tracklist

  1. Baba Drame (Boubacar Traore)
  2. Hour Glass (Bill Frisell)
  3. Valentine (Frisell)
  4. Levees (Frisell)
  5. Winter Always Turns To Spring (Frisell)
  6. Keep Your Eyes Open (Frisell)
  7. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing (Billy Strayhorn)
  8. Electricity (Frisell)
  9. Wagon Wheels (Billy Hill/Peter DeRose)
  10. Aunt Mary (Frisell)
  11. What The World Needs Now Is Love (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
  12. Where Do We Go? (Frisell)
  13. We Shall Overcome (Traditional)
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