Chris Cutler & Fred Frith — 2 Gentlemen in Verona
(ReR Megacorp CCFF3, 2000, CD)
by David Ashcraft, Published 2001-07-01
I have a tremendous amount of respect for both guitarist Fred Frith and percussionist Chris Cutler. They have both been involved in some tremendous music that dates from the Henry Cow days to Massacre to Frith’s fabulous solo albums and beyond. 2 Gentlemen in Verona showcases the improvisational talents of these two titans, but it has its share of hits and misses. The album documents a 1999 concert in Italy (you can guess the city) that features Frith and Cutler in a continuous duet for the entire length of the CD. They achieve some sublime moments of melody and emotion, but the listener must also endure plenty of meandering and some dissonant sounds. Overall this is a release that is strictly for the hardcore fan of improvised exploration.
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more