Bill Frisell Trio Makes Music-and-Movie Magic in Two Shows at UCLA Live's Royce Hall April 2
(Published: March 14, 2011)
Featuring live jazz scores set to Buster Keaton films, eclectic animation and experimental visuals,
Adventurous jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell and his bandmates Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen bring two compelling sets of music and film to the Royce Hall stage Saturday April 2-in an afternoon family matinee of Buster Keaton classics and an evening performance featuring work from animation-artist Jim Woodring and experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison.
Frisell is one of the most prolific and sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music. And in recent years, his role as composer and band leader has garnered him increasing notoriety.
"It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness."
- The New York Times
For the 8 p.m. UCLA Live evening performance-Bill Frisell Trio Takes on Buster Keaton, Jim Woodring and Bill Morrison-the versatile guitarist sets his compositional and performance skill to a collection of visuals that includes classic slapstick comedy from Buster Keaton, bold illustrations from Seattle animator/comic-book artist Jim Woodring and selections from avant-garde documentarian Bill Morrison's The Mesmerist.
Jim Woodring's surrealistic hand-drawn artwork has been featured in many publications that deal with comics and culture, from the high-brow Kenyon Review and World Art Magazine to Francis Coppola's Zoetrope, as well as the Frank comics. His book Seeing Things was published in 2005.
New York-based artist and filmmaker Bill Morrison is perhaps best known for his 2002 experimental collage of decaying film called Decasia. For his short film The Mesmerist , Morrison used a disintegrating film copy of the 1926 silent movie The Bells to create an entirely new story .
UCLA Live's 2 p.m. family-friendly show-Bill Frisell Trio Takes on Buster Keaton-offers a live score set to the Keaton classics Go West, The High Sign and One Week. This rare live performance, features music based on tracks Frisell wrote for his two Music for the Films of Buster Keaton albums released in 1995, High Sign/One Week and Go West.
Billboard magazine called Go West "one of [Frisell's] finest, most evocative albums. Evincing his best qualities as both guitarist and composer, he harvests melancholy Americana from deceptively modest, episodic themes. Coloring the scenes with acoustic, as well as his trademark electric, Frisell produces strangely cinematic motifs on guitar."
Frisell first premiered this music along with the films in May 1993 to a spirited and sold-out audience at St. Ann's in Brooklyn. The paired sights of Keaton and sounds of Frisell possess a natural affinity, undeniable sense of adventure and penchant for the unexpected that enhances the warmth and humanity of both the musical elements and the films themselves.
Over the years, Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie, Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Vinicius Cantuaria, Marc Johnson (in "Bass Desires"), Ronald Shannon Jackson and Melvin Gibbs (in "Power Tools"), Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, Rinde Eckert, The Frankfurt Ballet, film director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders' film Million Dollar Hotel.
Single tickets are on sale now. UCLA Live at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood. Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. $18-$28 and 8 p.m. $28-$43 ($15 UCLA students). (310) 825.2101, www.uclalive.org
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