156

Fred Fried: Infantry of Leaves

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Fried: Infantry of Leaves 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 should look elsewhere. All three musicians rely on blending unfailingly delicate placement, phrasing, and subtle interpretation to build a consistently emotive experience.

Interpreting material with a subtle and deceptively smooth pianistic style, Fried does more than create jazz’s typical, breakneck lines, though he is capable of doing so. Instead, he simultaneously presents both harmonic and melodic ideas. By taking full advantage of the low A on his 7-string guitar, Fried employs a distinctively colored and fluid style that matches well with the lyrical and harmonically adventurous compositions found on this release.

The album begins with the gentle crescendo, “Infantry of Leaves,” and closes with the stirring “Sun Descending.” Other tracks of particular note include the poignant “Lullaby,” on which LaSpina bows a forlorn background; the contemplative “There” featuring another pivotally insightful solo by LaSpina; and the rhythmically intriguing “Samsara.” Drummond’s careful accents and cymbal work come to the fore in this last piece, as does the group interaction.

Fundamentally concerned with exploring the emotive potential of the guitar, Fried’s music is extremely personal and spiritually open. This leaves the listener with the feeling that Fried has not only shared something of great value to himself, but has offered it to the listener in order that they may also explore the music’s varied resonance.

Fried never dictates. He beckons.


Track Listing: 1. Infantry of Leaves 2. Gale 3. Secrets Told Softly 4. Lullaby 5. Andromeda 6. There 7. Late Bloomer 8. Smile Through 9. Samsara 10. Sun Descending

Personnel: Fred Fried: acoustic 7-string guitar, Steve LaSpina: bass, Billy Drummond: drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Ballet Tree | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!