Half Notes: Fred Fried And Core – EnCore (2011)

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You’d think that an acoustic jazz trio with an acoustic guitar would be done a lot more often than it is, but no, most jazz guitarists like to plug in. Not Fred Fried, though, and we found out with last year’s Core 3.0, his rich lyricism and incisive playing makes a relatively unusual combination seem natural. That’s the success of Fried and his Core bandmates (Michael Lavoie, bass; Miki Matsuki, drums), who have good chemistry and put Core’s deep harmonics at the center, even when he’s comping and Lavoie is soling, as on “The Gathering Stone.” Fried doesn’t just play an 8-string guitar for looks, he puts those extra strings to good use; the expanded tonal palette it provides adds harmonic details to simple melodies like “Three Fall” and “Sing Me A Puzzle.” All originals this time, EnCore, these eleven tracks make EnCore a suitably titled followup to the consistent quality of that prior record.

EnCore went on sale July 12, by Ballet Tree Jazz Productions. ‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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