With his perpetually dazed, beatific gaze, jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell found an ideal creative foil in the deadpan mug of silent film genius Buster Keaton. An ongoing relationship first documented on Frisell’s 1995 albums “Music for Films of Buster Keaton: Go West” and “Music for Films of Buster Keaton: One Week and High Sign” (Nonesuch), Frisell revisits his evocative scores for the three films Saturday afternoon at UCLA’s Royce Hall with bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen (the original recordings featured bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Joey Baron).
In 2009 the guitarist released a DVD entitled “Films of Buster Keaton/Music By Bill Frisell”, so clearly he’s still deeply engaged with Keaton, whose reputation has soared to new heights since his death at 70 in 1966. With his vast sonic palette, Frisell offers wry commentary rather than underlining the action. Saturday evening, the trio performs scores to Keaton, as well as to animated illustrations by Seattle artist Jim Woodring and selections from The Mesmerist, a documentary made entirely of visuals of decomposing film made by avant-garde filmmaker Bill Morrison (who has collaborated with several noted jazz musicians, including trumpeter Dave Douglas and Vijay Iyer).
When: Saturday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Note: The 2:00 p.m. Family Friendly matinee features the Bill Frisell Trio accompanying several Buster Keaton films. As noted above, the evening performance is broader in scope and includes works by Keaton and other filmmakers.
Where: UCLA Royce Hall
2 p.m. Performance: $18 for kids 12 and under / $15 for UCLA students / $28 for all others
8 p.m. Performance: $28/33/43 ($15 for UCLA students)