Guitarist Bill Frisell's Big Sur ensemble is a fusion of two of his recent groups: the string band 858 Quartet and bop-tinged Beautiful Dreamers. The resulting outfit — violinist Jenny Scheinman, cellist Hank Roberts, violist Eyvind Kang, drummer Rudy Royston — joins Frisell's endlessly evocative guitar in painting a portrait of that wild California coast on their album of the same name. Frisell, who wrote the Big Sur material during a 10-day retreat there, captures its majestic natural beauty using his customary broad palette of American elements, stretching from jazz to country, presented in a chamber-like context. Although richly detailed, the music isn't sedate, often having an insistent pulse courtesy of Royston, and peppered with brilliant witticisms: the soaring avant-bluegrass of "Hawks," the "Wipe Out" references on "The Big One."
Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m., 2013