Composing avant music to accompany silent films has become a popular thing in the last couple decades, with locally-based musicians like Bill Frisell and the Black Cat Orchestra finding new facets in old screen gems. The latest band aiming to marry mediums and eras is trumpeter Steven Bernstein's MTO, a brilliant assembly of New York players who spent years together at the now-defunct Tonic creating good-humored, post-modern takes on the past century of American pop jazz. For tonight, Bernstein has put together a West Coast version of the band, who'll be offering their playful, virtuosic sound as the live soundtrack to three Laurel and Hardy films. Don't be sorry Ollie; get your ass to this show.
Wed., Nov. 5, 8 p.m., 2008