Fred Frith / Zs GB/US
Fred Frith (US)
The wonderfully twisted world of this British experimental music genius is an ode to freedom. A guitar virtuoso whose improvisations are mesmerising.
For over four decades, Fred Frith has blazed a steady trail between meandering improvisation, experimental rock and sprawling contemporary music. The guitar virtuoso has always wanted his instrument to exist in its own right, letting it breathe and howl following his inspiration – a material with which one expresses what is kept silent. The solitary British musician has travelled with such giants as Robert Wyatt and Brian Eno. In noisy and dreamlike but always profoundly organic turns, the musique concrète of this disciple of John Cage is a call to reality through dreams… or is it the other way around?
This Brooklyn band’s name looks as difficult to pronounce as their music might be to explain but if you listen carefully, it’s all just a sweet-sounding phonetic /ziz/.
Released in 2015, the shape-shifting ensemble’s album “Xe” is a wildly improvised and yet perfectly controlled piece of work. The New York Times actually describes Zs as one of the best representatives of the current avant-garde scene. Recently crystallised around Patrick Higgins (guitar), Greg Fox (drums) and Sam Hillmer (tenor saxophone), the trio beautifully combines sound abstraction with mathematical execution, while making their interwoven instrumentals both brilliant and accessible. A lunar and tangible free jazz alchemy.