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The original incredible duet of alto saxophonist John Zorn and guitarist Fred Frith in live duets of amazing strength and communication, awe inspiring improvisation.

Frith, Fred / Zorn, John
The Art of Memory

Frith, Fred / Zorn, John: The Art of Memory (Incus)
Label: Incus    
Released in: Great Britain    

"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

Related Categories of Interest:

Zorn. John
Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Guitarists, &c.
Frith, Fred
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Before April-2006

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Price: $14.36
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 5.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

Label: Incus
Catalog ID: INCUS 020CD
Squidco Product Code: 923

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1994
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
All music improvised live, recorded byJohn Zorn& Fred Frith for Incus Records.


John Zorn-alto sax

Fred Frith-guitar

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Track Listing:

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

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