In 1995, Bill Frisell released an instrumental album composed for Buster Keaton's films, Go West. The disc acts as the live accompaniment to the silent films, much like seeing them in their original release form. Go West is a Buster Keaton classic often compared to the Charlie Chaplin classics. The story follows a down-and-out Midwesterner following Horace Greeley's adage "Go West, young man!" Classic hilarity in this film includes a milking scene and a card game. (Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle makes an in-drag cameo.) The original soundtrack recording also includes Kermit Driscoll on acoustic and electric basses and Joey Barron on percussion. Frisell and his band performed the music to all three films at St. Ann's in Brookly, NY, in May of 1993. The warmly recorded albums are adventurous and evocative. Critics described Bill Frisell's inspired episodic work with Keaton's films as "deceptively modest" and "melancholy Americana. These rich narrative accompaniments are essential for students of cinema music and evangelists of the power of the score to enrich and enlighten visual art. The group also wrote an original score to the Keaton films High Sign and One Week.
Go West: Music for the Films of Buster Keaton Review
by JT Griffith