The Previous Evening is a composition in three parts, each of them a tribute to a major contemporary classical composer. The first is a homage to John Cage, and, accordingly, it consists of music and texts (taken from Cage's book Silence) organized according to chance processes. It's in this piece that Frith's personal instrumental voice is most clearly identifiable, with snippets of prepared guitar advancing and retreating through the mix. The second part is a tribute to Morton Feldman on which Frith plays piano accompanied by a percussionist and clarinetist. As befits a tribute to Feldman, the piece unfolds with almost painful slowness, making only limited use of the clarinet and almost subliminal use of percussion, the piano playing only one or two notes every few seconds and rarely any chords. Part three, in honor of Earle Brown, is the more challenging of the three, incorporating as it does a jagged piano part, scraps of prerecorded found sounds, and even an Australian-dawn chorus. Long-standing fans of Fred Frith may not recognize his voice easily in this music, but all of it is worth listening to.
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson