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Music for the Films of Buster Keaton: The High Sign / One Week

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  • Bill Frisell Brings Multimedia "Disfarmer Project" to Europe

    Bill Frisell launches an 11-city European tour featuring the music of his last Nonesuch album, Disfarmer, in Hamburg, Germany, tonight. Joining him on tour are steel-guitar player Greg Leisz, bassist Viktor Krauss, and violinist Carrie Rodriquez. In the multimedia piece, inspired by the life, work, and subjects of eccentric photographer Mike Disfarmer, projected images of Disfarmer's portraits illuminate Frisell's musical perspectives on this fascinating character.

  • Bill Frisell Begins Two-Week Residency at New York's Village Vanguard; Film Featuring His Music Opens at Hot Docs Festival

    Bill Frisell is in New York City this week to begin a two-week residency at the Village Vanguard. This week's line-up features the Bill Frisell Trio, with Eyvind Kang on violin and Rudy Royston on drums. Next week, Frisell leads his 858 Quartet, with Kang returning on violin, Jenny Scheinman on violin as well, and Hank Roberts joining on cello. Tonight, Portrait of a Man, a new documentary film featuring Frisell's music, receives its international premiere at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto.

About this Album

“The most inventive and compelling guitarist to emerge in more than a decade” (Oakland Tribune), composer/guitarist/bandleader Bill Frisell trains his unique compositional lens on the silent film works of 1920s comedic phenom Buster Keaton, forging Music for the Films of Buster Keaton: Go West and The High Sign / One Week, two remarkable recordings representing the sixth and seventh additions to Frisell's Nonesuch catalog.

Music for the Films of Buster Keaton provides a deeper look at Frisell’s longstanding fascination with Americana (also explored in his earlier Nonesuch releases This Land and Have a Little Faith). In a musical storytelling of the rises, falls and comedic/tragic mishaps of Buster Keaton’s most memorable screen personae, the voice of Frisell’s signature guitar presides conversing, pondering, scheming over vignettes of fluctuating rhythms, tempos and moods, weaving the particular atmosphere of placid tumult so intrinsic to Keaton’s work and life. After a New York City performance accompanying the films, the New York Times said, “Mr. Frisell’s scores perfectly balance the need to be abstract and the need to be literal ... [He has] recurring motifs that suggest the new American possibility of the time, motifs redolent of the sort of optimism heard in some country music, blues and jazz.”

Both Go West and The High Sign / One Week feature the Bill Frisell band, a tightly knit trio in which longtime collaborators Kermit Driscoll (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) flank Frisell’s inimitable fretwork, exhibiting a level of communication for which Frisell’s ensembles are renowned. Formed in 1986, the band often conspired with such notable talents as clarinetist Don Byron, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, and accordionist Guy Klucevsek, among others.


Bill Frisell, acoustic and electric guitars
Kermit Driscoll, acoustic and electric basses
Joey Baron, drums and percussion


Produced by Lee Townsend
Recorded at Möbius Music, San Francisco
Recording Engineer: Oliver DiCocco
Assistant Engineer: Christian Jones
Mixed at Different Fur Recording, San Francisco
Mixing Engineer: Judy Clapp
Assistant Engineer: Mark Slagle
Mastered by Greg Calibi at Masterdisk, New York

Design by John Gall
Photograph courtesy the Douris Corporation and the Rohauer Corporation

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