Guitarist Bill Frisell created a live soundtrack of howling saxophones, Thelonious Monk hooks, American Folk Music and Stephen Foster songs to accompany Bill Morrison's new film, The Great Flood. The film is a silent and solemn procession of archival movie images from the Mississippi river disaster of 1927. In closeup, it shows trickling streams and rain on cotton plants swelling into torrents; cigar-toting politicians making grand gestures; the destitute lived in shanties, and the wealthy lived like kings.
The footage is authentic and sometimes amateur. The bleached-out glare or throbbing shadows merge with scenes of displaced farm workers and churches full of worshippers, while Frisell leads trumpet, guitar, bass, vibraphone and purcussion through a lush and imaginative score.
The performance was a highlight of the 2012 London jazz festival, and is coming to Seattle's Moore Theatre for one night. Tomorrow night, March 2. Tickets are still available and just $32.50. Available here.