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File under: Free Improvisation

Fred Frith, John Zorn

The Art of Memory II

Label: ReR Megacorp

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Fred Frith summarizes the release on his website as "early 80s weirdness with John Zorn." To expand a bit, perhaps "idiosyncratic improvisation with a strange set of tools from two master musicians" would help place the form and ability of the music of Frith and Zorn, who have travelled and performed sporadically as a duo over several decades. These are five fascinating recordings from the blossoming downtown NY scene, originally from two NYC performances recorded on cassette in 1983 at P.A.S.S. and in 1985 at Roulette (the recordings are clear and resonant, belying their humble cassette origins).

As with the 1st volume of The Art of Memory, the interplay here is remarkably playful and sophisticated. Zorn uncaps his mouthpiece as much as he plays the horn itself, and pulls out his duck-calls for some of their earliest performances. Frith uses a variety of home-made instruments, many guitar-like or string based, along with Casio keyboards and his own cantankerous voice. There is a great logic in their discourse, and a great telepathy between them that controls the dynamic and keeps the complex and extremely informed interchange interesting. Incredible and creative improvisation, superb!

File under: Free Improvisation
Cat. number: ReR FRA6