Southern California free jazz outfit Cruel Frederick existed during the late '80s and early '90s, during which time they recorded two albums for the renowned SST label. The group paid homage to such jazz icons as Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, and especially Albert Ayler through their music as well as their song titles. Cruel Frederick's first album, Birth of the Cruel (1988), featured a lineup of Lynn Johnston on saxophones and clarinets, Jacob Cohn on alto saxophone, Guy Bennett on bass and trombone, and Jason Kahn on drums. For the follow-up, 1991's We Are the Music We Play, only Johnston and Bennett remained on board, with Mike Ezzo taking over on drums.
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