This “soundtrack”—performed by Frisell, bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Joey Baron—was originally designed as live accompaniment to pioneering film comedian Keaton’s silent film. Says Billboard, “Frisell has crafted one of his finest, most evocative albums.”
The CD of this album is available to purchase at ArkivMusic.
“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.
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
Buster Keaton photographs courtesy the Douris Corporation and the Rohauer Collection
Bill Frisell, acoustic and electric guitars
Kermit Driscoll, acoustic and electric basses
Joey Baron, drums and percussion