Album Review

Frith, Fred – “Nowhere / Sideshow / Thin Air” – [ReR Usa]

Thurston Hunger   10/6/2010   A Library, CD

Fred and friends soundtracking for choreographing. More active than
cinematic soundtracks. (Well, “Step Across the Border” being a splendid
exception.) On “Nowhere” Frith’s guitar bristles with energy, sounding
like it could burst at any moment, but frequently happy to just toy with
that tension. Especially as he adds the divine Carla Kihlstedt. Check out
their playing tag on “Near.” “Nowhere” has a nostalgic theme that reappears
as does sounds from freeway samples for prolonged patches. Throughout
Frith weaves clean sounding nylon tip toe guitar dancing. And chimes
signal the intersection changes.

“Sideshow” starts with a similar feel to “Nowhere” to me. Jagged
staircases of melody runs. Spiked by Kihlstedt’s violin more than
an underlying guitar. Laugh tracks come out of the woodwork.
But the big finish is the circus piano on “Ms. Mac Drinks and Goes
Home.” Well, who wouldn’t?

“Thin Air” feels like Arnold Dreyblatt dreaming of telephone wires.
This set really hovers, must have had the dancers suspended in air.
Although on “Running” we get more footsteps falling like rain in
the crisped air. And “Fast Feet” gets an increase in pace along
with some high tight sustain guitar over the bouncing jangle.
Other percussion drops in on this set as well.

This is volume 6 of Friths fondness for feet!

-Terpsichore Hunger

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