Fred Fried and Core: EnCore

Review of CD by guitarist

8 string guitar master Fred Fried releases his 8th CD as a leader. With a witty play on words, his last release entitled Core 3.0 is given a new twist, with the next evolution entitled EnCore. Featuring Michael Lavoie on bass, and Miki Matsuki on drums, this release truly is the next progression in the catalog of Fred Fried. The releases eloquence and beauty shine through with every note.

The trio’s chemistry is even stronger this time around and Fried’s compositions offer deep complexity, but with accessibility for the listener. Part of the charm of Fried’s playing is he draws inspiration from pianists. Rhythmically, guitar is an instrument that has a natural convergence towards country swing. It takes great strides for a guitarist to develop a rhythm that is based on sax or piano. Fried has definitely created a style and sound all his own, and with the addition of Lavoie and Matsuki, the recipe for adventure is complete.

Shining examples can be found on tracks such as “Three Fall” a texturally rich composition that offers complex rhythms and harmonically rich voicings. The chemistry of the trio is immediately evident; Fried gracefully compliments Lavoie on bass not overpowering him during accompaniment. Matsuki creates a multi-layered soundscape, giving the listener many points of interest to listen to.

On “Spring Overture,” the trio generates shifts and rhythmic stabs that elevate this track seamlessly, while Fried glides across the melody with undulating fluidity. A funky composition “Little Tears” is executed with flowing alacrity.

Encore, truly exhibits the breadth of Fried’s experiences. The trio has truly evolved as a well oiled, yet expansively creative unit. The range of Fried’s interests and their synthesis into a unique style, appear on Encore at every destination, truly creating an enjoyable listen and an emotionally magnetic release.

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Geannine Reid