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Gabriel Garcia Marquez inspired Bill Frisell's “Remedios the Beauty"

ECM Records
ECM Records
ECM Records

Word has come this afternoon reporting the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Marquez, the Colombian writer and Nobel Prize-winning magic realist behind the beloved novels “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” has died at the age of 87, according to sources close to the family.
The beloved Spanish-language writer died at home in Mexico City around midday, sources told The Associated Press, confirming Mexican newspaper reports Thursday afternoon. The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect for the family's privacy.
Marquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, with organizers hailing "his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts."

Marquez’s writing has inspired artists in many other disciplines, including music. Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell acknowledged the author’s influence by including “Remedios the Beauty" on his 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 snaky rhythm until the earlier motif returns as the song drifts away, dropping bits of itself over the final fading repetitions.

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