Fred Frith

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This disc consists primarily of a live recording by the British avant-garde guitarist Fred Frith and the similarly inclined Canadian guitarist Rene Lussier. (The LP was originally released shortly after the 1986 concert; the CD reissue adds four studio tracks recorded in 1992.) Fans of Frith will find much to love here, and will be equally impressed by Lussier, whose slightly more rockish approach nicely counterbalances Frith's more abstract tendencies. The music is difficult but good-humored; while "lyrical" is not a word that leaps to mind when trying to describe pieces like "Cage de Verre" (with its fractured, atonal melody and strict rhythmic structure) or the Lussier composition "Plaisirs Instantanes," there's always a thread to hold onto and the sounds themselves are almost always attractive. When they aren't attractive, they're at least interesting. Several guest vocalists appear, and there are a couple of fine solo pieces, but the focus of this album is on Frith and Lussier's remarkable rapport and like-minded adventurism. Wonderful stuff.

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