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Musician

Fred Frith

Born:

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith has been making noise of one kind or another for almost 50 years, starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow, which he co-founded with Tim Hodgkinson in 1968. Fred is best known as a pioneering electric guitarist and improviser, song-writer, and composer for film, dance and theater. Through bands like Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and Cosa Brava, he has stayed close to his roots in rock and folk music while branching out in many other directions. Composing for dance throughout his long career, Fred has worked with Rosalind Newman and Bebe Miller in New York, François Verret and Catherine Diverrès in France, and Amanda Miller and the Pretty Ugly Dance Company over the course of many years in Germany, as well as composing for two documentary films on the work of Anna Halprin. Theater credits include the Creation Company in New York and François-Michel Pesenti’s Théâtre du Point Aveugle in Marseille, where he spent six months in 1990 working with “jeunes rockers en chômage des quartiers défavorisés” (young unemployed rock musicians from the ghettos) on the opera Helter Skelter. His compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to ROVA and Arte Sax Quartets, from rock bands Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra. Film music credits include the acclaimed documentaries Rivers and Tides, Touch the Sound and Leaning into the Wind, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer, The Tango Lesson, Yes and The Party by Sally Potter, Werner Penzel’s Zen for Nothing, Peter Mettler’s Gods, Gambling and LSD, and the award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Last Day of Freedom, by Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones. Fred has performed works by and sometimes alongside composers John Luther Adams, Gavin Bryars, Sylvie Courvoisier, Alvin Curran, George Lewis, René Lussier, Jose Maceda, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and Christian Wolff; improvised with Paolo Angeli, Lotte Anker, Derek Bailey, Chris Brown, Lol Coxhill, Chris Cutler, Janet Feder, Joëlle Léandre, Miya Masaoka, Phil Minton, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Bob Ostertag, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, and Camel Zekri, to name a few; collaborated with classical virtuosi Evelyn Glennie, Katia Labèque, Viktoria Mullova, and Werner Bärtschi; and—as session musician—recorded on albums by, for example, Brian Eno, The Residents, Robert Wyatt, The Swans, Violent Femmes, Material, Negativland, John Zorn, Matthew and the Unfortunates, and Half Japanese. He is currently performing with the Fred Frith Trio and Frelosa. The recipient of Italy’s Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life’s work in experimental music and an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire, Fred is Professor Emeritus at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California

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Article: Live Review

Bergamo Jazz Festival 2022. Prima parte: la Città Alta

Read "Bergamo Jazz Festival 2022. Prima parte: la Città Alta" reviewed by Libero Farnè


Bergamo Varie sedi 17-20.3.2022 Dopo lo slittamento a settembre dell'edizione 2021 a causa delle restrizioni della pandemia, il Bergamo Jazz Festival è tornato a svolgersi in marzo, come nella sua consolidata tradizione. Una rete di spazi prestigiosi di varia capienza, sparsi nella Città Alta e in quella Bassa, ha accolto di volta ...

Article: Live Review

Week Of Surprise 2021

Read "Week Of Surprise 2021" reviewed by Martin Longley


Week Of Surprise Stadtgarten/Christuskirche Cologne, Germany October 11-16, 2021 In the usual times, Week Of Surprise would be Night Of Surprise, with all of its sonic wonderment compressed into a kaleidoscopically overlapping sequence, where chance encounters were actively encouraged. In virus times, a more sober incarnation came into ...

Album

A Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall

Label: Intakt Records
Released: 2021
Track listing: Bodaishin; The Biggest Lie; Stirred by Wind and Waves; Nothing to It; Fushiryō; The Biggest Idiots; Nothing at All; Shōdōka; Good for What?; The Same Moon Sometimes Seems to Smile; Things as They Are; Hishiryō; A Thief Breaks into an Empty House; Now Here; Samadhi.

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Article: Album Review

Bob Gorry: GoBruCcio

Read "GoBruCcio" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


Jerry Garcia once tried to explain the Grateful Dead's appeal by comparing them to licorice. He pointed out that not everybody likes licorice, but the people who do “really like licorice." The same principle could easily apply to free jazz. There's a unique appeal to free improvisation that some listeners embrace, while others might quickly turn ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Gregg August, Sandy Evans, & Phelan Burgoyne

Read "Gregg August, Sandy Evans, & Phelan Burgoyne" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


Catching up this time out on a couple of great releases that I've been a little tardy in playing: bassist Gregg August's important Dialogues On Race Vol. 1 and Aussie saxophone powerhouse Sandy Evans' Postcards From The Anthropocene . The late drummer Paul Motian wrote lots of tunes and English drummer Phelan Burgoyne has collected a ...

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Article: Book Review

Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players

Read "Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players Joel Harrison 256 Pages ISBN-13 : 978-1949597134 Terra Nova Press 2021 As founder of the Alternative Guitar Summit, guitarist/composer Joel Harrison has gotten to know a lot of adventurous contemporary guitarists: this book collects far-ranging conversations with twenty-seven of them. In fact, ...

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Article: Album Review

Paolo Angeli: Jar'a

Read "Jar'a" reviewed by Ian Patterson


In a recording career that began in 1995, prepared guitarist Paolo Agneli's has toggled between solo albums and collaborations with the likes of Fred Frith, Hamid Drake, Evan Parker, Takumi Fukushima and Iva Bittova. But whether in partnership or solo, the Sardinian's music stubbornly resists categorization. Elements of free-jazz, post-rock, folk, noise and electronic soundscaping are ...

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Article: Live Review

Moers Festival 2021

Read "Moers Festival 2021" reviewed by Martin Longley


Moers Festival Eventhalle/Rodelberg Moers, Germany May 21-24 2021 Just a few days before the start of this 50th anniversary festival, the local governmental authorities suddenly switched their virus regulations, allowing a crowd of 500 to attend each evening's outdoor park gig on the Rodelberg stage. During the daytimes, ...

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Article: Live Review

Moers Festival 2021

Read "Moers Festival 2021" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Moers Festival Moers, Germany May 21-24, 2021 In a year that passed since the previous Moers Festival, the Covid 19 pandemic caused a lot of bad news regarding concert cancellations, closed venues, and further issues in the already challenging lives of professional musicians around the world. Thus, the success of this ...


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