Bill Frisell: Show Preview

It's one of the most famous magazine stories ever published, and one of the most hilarious and penetrating pieces of gonzo journalism — and now, Hunter S. Thompson's The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved is coming to life off the page. Jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell conspired with actor Tim Robbins and Thompson's original illustrator pal, Ralph Steadman, to set a version of the famous story to a chamber-jazz score. This week SFJAZZ premieres the live show, which features Frisell conducting, Robbins reading Thompson's character, and the original septet performing. For fans of Thompson, the addition of music makes for a fascinating recasting of his plunge into the dark heart of Southern society; for anyone else, it promises to be at least a totally unique performance.

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