The original incredible duet of alto saxophonist John Zorn and guitarist Fred Frith in live duets of amazing strength and communication, awe inspiring improvisation.
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Catalog ID: INCUS 020CD
Squidco Product Code: 923
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
All music improvised live, recorded byJohn Zorn& Fred Frith for Incus Records.
John Zorn-alto sax
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1. The Combiner 4:41
2. The Ladder 5:25
3. The Chain 4:55
4. The Field 7:58
5. The Table 8:44
6. The Interpreter 5:07
7. The Tree 4:21
8. The Fountain And The Mirror 4:31
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
sample the album:
"Based upon the ancient Roman methodology for remembering architectural sites and the meanings built into their structures, guitarist Fred Frith and saxophonist John Zorn pull out all the stops in creating a body of improvisation that does not rely on symbolic invitations or responses, but is instead a collaboration that builds an imposing musical structure from forgotten trends, hidden sonic languages, and metaphorical tonal construction. From the opening moments of "The Combiner," where Frith twines his guitar from the table into a rope with Zorn's microphonics and multivalent scalar invention, you can hear a sort of communication being authored just beyond your reach. That the dynamics of the collaboration match so perfectly, offering glimpses of both restraint and tension before obliterating them with humor and pure aggression, should be no surprise -- the pair sought to do this from the outset. In "The Ladder," Frith moves himself into a corner with funky soul chords and splattered arpeggios that Zorn picks up and transforms into a mutant vanguard swing. The tempo is dizzying as Frith rips open his chords for their found sonic elements and Zorn goes in to shore up the idea, flipping it over and turning it inside out as only a master improviser can do. By the time you reach "The Fountain and the Mirror," the players have switched roles many times, each playing support and leader, turning what were merely notions for collaborating along a certain path into audible bodies with their own pulses, minds, and blood. This is a revelatory album, and a near matchless collaboration."-Thom Jurek, All Music
• Show Bio for John Zorn
"John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers".
Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone. He attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987, and Naked City in 1989. After spending almost a decade travelling between Japan and the US he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.
Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the klezmer/free jazz-influenced quartet Masada, composed over 600 pieces as part of the Masada Songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, and produced music for opera, sound installations, film and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, often performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output.
Zorn's compositions cross many genres and he has stated "All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I'm an additive person-the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can't see the connections, but they are there." For Zorn "Composing is more than just imagining music-it's knowing how to communicate it to musicians. And you don't give an improviser music that's completely written out, or ask a classical musician to improvise. I'm interested in speaking to musicians in their own languages, on their own terms, and in bringing out the best in what they do. To challenge them and excite them." "-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zorn)
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• Show Bio for Fred Frith
"Though the point of reference for many remains the iconic band Henry Cow, which he co-founded in 1968 and which broke up more than 30 years ago, Fred Frith has never really stood still for an instant.
In bands such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Tense Serenity, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eye to Ear, and most recently Cosa Brava, he has always held true to his roots in rock and folk music, while exploring influences that range from the literary works of Eduardo Galeano to the art installations of Cornelia Parker.
The release of the seminal Guitar Solos in 1974 enabled him to simultaneously carve out a place for himself in the international improvised music scene, not only as an acclaimed solo performer but in the company of artists as diverse as Han Bennink, Chris Cutler, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Evelyn Glennie, Ikue Mori, Louis Sclavis, Stevie Wishart, Wu Fei, Camel Zekri, John Zorn, and scores of others.
He has also developed a personal compositional language in works written for Arditti Quartet, Asko Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble Modern, Concerto Köln, and ROVA Sax Quartet, for example. Fred has been active as a composer for dance since the early 1980s, working with choreographers Bebe Miller, François Verret, and especially long-time collaborator and friend Amanda Miller, with whom he has created a compelling body of work over the last twenty years.
His film soundtracks (for award-winning films like Thomas Riedelsheimer's Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound, Peter Mettler's Gambling, Gods, and LSD, and Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow's Thirst, to name a few) won him a lifetime achievement award from Prague's "Music on Film, Film on Music" Festival (MOFFOM) in 2007. The following year he received Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize (previously given to Diamanda Galas and Meredith Monk) for his life's work in experimental music, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire.
Fred currently teaches in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California (renowned for over fifty years as the epicenter of the American experimental tradition), and in the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland."-Fred Frith Website (http://www.fredfrith.com/biography.html)
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