Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bill Frisell - Music for the films of Buster Keaton - Go West


Amazon.com essential recording
Guitarist Bill Frisell's exploration of 20th-century Americana has led him to many places, but the films of silent-screen comedian Buster Keaton have been a special inspiration. What makes this "background" music so compelling is Frisell's ability to reimagine the particular landscape of Keaton's Wild West, its wide-open spaces and doomed humor. His compositional materials are almost minimalist. A few short melodies recur throughout, and the bass motif that appears with the brief "Box Car" appears again and again, in "Train," "Bullfight," "New Day," and "Cattle Drive," until it assumes the inexorable momentum of narrative. In his handling of these materials, Frisell is able to suggest a host of other musics (like the blues of "Card Game" and the dissonant near-flamenco of "Ambush") and a range of complex emotions. His then-regular partners make essential contributions: Kermit Driscoll provides rock-steady bass lines, while Joey Baron's creative use of percussion extends to using woodblocks for both humor and foreboding. Like Keaton, Frisell has the ability to take the expected, even the cliché, and make it resonate with subtle and sometimes disturbing dimensions. In the process, he has created a score that not only enriches the film but is able to stand on its own. For another Frisell take on Keaton, check out the shorter High Sign/One Week. --Stuart Broomer

For maximum enjoyment of this masterwork, one of course has to listen to the music while watching the film, he's in for an unforgettable trip, this 'soundtrack' works wonders on old Buster's antics carrying them to the late 20th century with aplomb -- kudos to these three master musicians then, and especially to Baron who propels the whole band.-- d3lta

Track listing

1. "Down on Luck" - 4:11
2. "Box Car" - 0:57
3. "Busy Street Scene" - 0:44
4. "Go West" - 1:00
5. "Train" - 3:06
6. "Brown Eyes" - 4:21
7. "Saddle Up!" - 2:41
8. "First Aid" - 0:51
9. "Bullfight" - 2:25
10. "Wolves" - 3:14
11. "New Day" - 5:27
12. "Branded" - 1:20
13. "Eats" - 1:13
14. "Splinter Scene" - 2:33
15. "Cattle Drive" - 4:36
16. "Card Game" - 5:03
17. "Ambush" - 4:02
18. "Passing Through Pasadena" - 1:52
19. "To The Streets" - 3:11
20. "Tap Dancer and Confusion" - 6:42
21. "Devil Suit" - 2:08
22. "Cops and Fireman" - 3:58
23. "That a Boy" - 1:31
24. "I Want Her" - 2:13

All compositions by Bill Frisell

* Recorded at Möbius Music, San Francisco 1995
Personnel

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

Label: Nonesuch

3 comments:

SEO said...
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fusionero said...

hi, don't know if a wrote you before, anyway i'm gonna do it now for sure. I think you blog is great and added you to my blogroll,if you like mine and want to link me back i'll be very pleased and thankful, anyway i'll be ok if you don't.
Kind Regards.
seguimoscorriendoalreves.blogspot.com

d3lta said...

@fusionero, sure thing, (good) music is a great unifier after all ;-)