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Although Frisell has yet to meet Miles in person, they've made detailed plans about their initial musical excursion. They'll practice each other's material in the days preceding their joint appearance in preparation for the Denver date as well as a performance scheduled to take place in Italy this December.
In the meantime, Frisell is busy promoting his latest Elektra release, This Land, and has just completed work on a Halloween TV special, Tales From the Far Side, based on the work of cartoonist Gary Larsen. "It's this animated thing where his cartoons come to life," he says. "There's no dialogue in the thing. It's like there's a whole bunch of these little vignettes--like if you took a little one-frame comic and brought it to life with music. It was really fun. I've never done anything like that at all."
His next job is close, however; it involves a European tour during which he'll play music he recorded to accompany the films of silent-era comedian Buster Keaton. "I recently wrote music for six Buster Keaton films," he explains. "The CDs [of this material] won't be out until probably the first of next year. But the project began about two years ago when I did a concert at St. Ann's Church in New York. They didn't want me to do just a regular concert, so they came up with this idea that I write music for these Buster Keaton films. We recorded Go West, High Sign and One Week, and we know music for three others. I'd never really known much about Buster Keaton, but by doing the music and seeing the stuff over and over again, it's just unbelievable what a genius he was."
The same label has been stamped on Frisell, but he's far too humble to embrace it. In this regard, he's much like Miles--excessively talented and overly quiet. "I hope we're not too shy to get something together," he says with a laugh. Then he grows more serious. "I'm sure we'll do fine," he adds. "I feel real comfortable with him so far. I have a really strong feeling that something good is going to happen."
Clearly, it already has.
Bill Frisell, with Dale Bruning and the Ron Miles Trio. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 8, Ogden Theatre, 935 East Colfax Avenue, all ages, $19, 830-2525.