Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Fred Fried and Core, "Encore," Eight-String Guitarist Shines in New Trio Session
Fred Fried is a very accomplished guitarist, plays an eight-string nylon stringed acoustic, and gives us one of his very best outings to date on Encore (Ballet Tree). It's the second release by his trio Core, which includes Michael Lavoie on contrabass and Miki Matsuki, drums, both playing a subtle and important accompanying role.
The disk presents 67 well-balanced minutes of the Fried guitar universe, which includes eleven nicely put-together Fried-penned items and a whole lot of guitar. He has an original contemporary feel for harmonic underpinnings, some very sophisticated voicings and melodic straightforwardness in his writing-execution. As an improvising guitarist he excels in the chordal and arpeggiated style that comes in part from his quite apparent classical training (NOTE: I am NOT correct in this assumption. See Fred's illuminating comment below); but he also shows an increasingly subtle finesse on single-line runs, especially at slower tempos. There are some similarities with Ralph Towner's neo-classical guitar style and brightness of form, but only as a touching point for what Fried is up to here.
This album goes very far in giving you the Fried artistry as it stands today. And that is something to treasure. Recommended.