As a kid in New York, Fred Fried enjoyed everything from early rock and roll to show tunes. He remembers listening to cast albums of Oklahoma, South Pacific and West Side Story. He loved Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and pretended to conduct the orchestra in front of the record player. From age 12, Fried played clarinet and was in various junior high school bands and orchestras. As a teenager Fried attended New York's High School of Performing Arts as a drama major. Although guitarist Fred Fried did not start playing the guitar until college, where he was an ...read more
On the aptly named disc The Wisdom of Notes, guitarist Fred Fried finds plenty of wisdom in his discourse as he expounds on the extensions that his 7-string instrument provides. He is quite comfortable improvising on a melody, but the harmonic patterns that he extrapolates on his guitar provide the real meat of this outing.
Fried has chosen his tunes wisely. They give him nooks to swing or show off the mastery he has at his fingertips. And he arranges his songs to effectively bring out a wide spectrum of sound. He settles into a welcoming With A ...read more
This is a gentle set, but Fred Fried's acoustic guitar, with its seven nylon strings, is unlikely to feature in anything much different. Tony Tedesco plies his brushes resourcefully on his drum kit, but the key to many of the set's successes is the brilliant bass playing of the veteran Michael Moore. Don't even think of listening to The Wisdom of Notes on a sound system which doesn't bring the bassist to the front (although the last title does seem somehow to be up there without anybody apart from Fried solo).
I can't imagine Fried is the easiest man to ...read more
Guitarist Fred Fried is a protege of master plectrist George Van Eps, with whom he studied with him in California; Van Eps was the first to popularize the seven-string guitar. Having gained knowledge about the instrument, Fried also realized that the added string gave more of a complexity to the guitar, and he was able to play and write more pianistically. While his early influences were Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, his work has been much more influenced by the late Bill Evans and other modal pianists.
Fried, originally from Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of the ...read more
When Winter Comes is feather-light 7-string acoustic guitar lying on a bed of gossamer strings. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but this disc by Cape Cod guitarist Fred Fried is a collection of spatial and plush original recordings. Mr. Fried plays his guitar more like a piano than a stringed instrument, with the effect of notes cascading rather than marching ahead. Notable on the recording are the two ballads "Hold Your Breath" and "Pathos," where Fried is introspective and his rhythm section retains the same aspect.
Fried is joined by veterans Steve LaSpina and Billy ...read more
Fred Fried is a gifted guitarist and composer. He plays with a soft, subtle, and complex touch that takes full advantage of his skilled, emotive compositions. Fried is not only a gifted musician, he is also a man of great thought with whom it is fascinating to discuss music, history—just about any topic at all. Like many jazz musicians, he possesses both a keen intellect and great depth of feeling. It was as a result my distinct privilege to speak with Fried about his latest release, When Winter Comes. The conversation took place early in the morning, ...read more
The use of “classically” arranged string sections within jazz compositions has been relatively commonplace since Charlie Parker’s breakthrough 1949 recording With Strings, more seminal due to its unbridled success than the singularity of the concept. Thus, Fred Fried’s latest release, When Winter Comes , which unites his trio with a string ensemble arranged by Richard DeRosa, is not a particularly outlandish endeavor. However this is far from its intent, and what is unusual is the level of synthesis attained between the album’s “classical” and “jazz” elements. This does not mean Fried has abandoned the jazz idiom, or the ...read more
As usual, it is difficult to decide which is more graceful, 7-string guitarist Fred Fried’s composing or his playing. On 2001's Infantry of Leaves , Fried and his trio mates, Steve LaSpina on bass and Billy Drummond on drums, present ten new Fried compositions. Each is a marvel of depth and balance, and despite the seemingly taut harmonic and melodic structure, all three musicians find plenty of space for inventive improvisation, both individually and as a group. Characteristically, no one in the group overpowers the others. Those in search of brash displays and extravagant blasts of power ...read more
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