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Artist Portrait

Fred Frith

g, *1949 US, Heathfield
Musician / Composer of Jazz and Rock
A.k.a. Jeremy Webster Frith

Born: 17th February 1949, Heathfield, England. British composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist, who has situated himself for more than thirty years in the area where rock music and new music meet. Played in R & B groups at school and did solo folk club work from 1967-1969. Began exploratory musical activities with Tim Hodgkinson early in 1968 which led to the start Henry Cow. Between times since then he has been involved with flautist Clive Bell in the Ritual Theatre, played guitar in Brecht-Weill productions, taught guitar and ran a jazz workshop at Cambridge tech. Co-founder of the British underground band "Henry Cow" (1968-78), Frith moved to New York in the late seventies and came into contact with many of the musicians with whom he’s since been associated, for example; John Zorn; Ikue Mori; Tom Cora; Zeena Parkins and Bob Ostertag. Fourteen years in New York gave rise to groups like "Massacre" (with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher), "Skeleton Crew" (with Tom and Zeena), and "Keep the Dog", a sextet performing an extensive repertoire of Frith compositions. In the eighties Frith began writing for dance, film, and theatre. This, in turn, led to his composing for "Rova Sax Quartet", "Ensemble Modern", "Asko Ensemble" and a number of other groups, including his own critically acclaimed "Guitar Quartet". Best known world-wide as an improvisational guitarist, Frith has also performed in a variety of other contexts, playing bass in John Zorn’s "Naked City", violin in Lars Hollmer’s "Looping Home Orchestra" and guitar on recordings ranging from "The Residents" and René Lussier, to Brian Eno and Amy Denio. Frith was also the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels’ award-winning documentary film "Step Across The Border". He became Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, near his home with photographer Heike Liss and their children, Finn and Lucia.

  • Guitar
  • Violin
  • Bass
  • Piano
  • Xylophone
  • Jazz
  • Rock
  • Electronic
  • Classical
Popular Tracks   
Improvised Music #1 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Improvised Music #2 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Finalité on Angelica 1994 by Various Artists
Improvised Music #4 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Barn Dance on Everybody's Somebody's Nobody by Fred Frith & Darren Johnston
Improvised Music #3 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Improvised Music #5 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Libertango - Instrumental on The Tango Lesson Soundtrack by Various Artists
Improvised Music #7 on Improvised Music New York 1981 by Various Artists
Luminescence on Everybody's Somebody's Nobody by Fred Frith & Darren Johnston

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
All Is Always Now (Fred Frith Live At The Stone)Fred Frith2019Album
Unexpected TwinsBruce Ackley, Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser, Aram Shelton2019Album
A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And EarthFred Frith and Hardy Fox2018Album
Lantskap LogicEvelyn Davis - Fred Frith - Phillip Greenlief2018Album
Storytelling (Live At Theater Gütersloh)Fred Frith2017Album
You Are HereFred Frith • Hans Koch2017Album
Quintillions GreenFred Frith, John Butcher, Theresa Wong2016Album
Everybody /s Somebody /s NobodyFred Frith / Darren Johnston2016Album
Im Gespräch With The Greats (Interviews, 1996-1997)Fred Frith, Pat Metheny, Marc Ribot, Noël Akchoté2016Album
Live In EuropeRusconi Trio + Fred Frith2016Album
PropagandaFred Frith2015Album
Angels On The Edge Of TimeLindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, Gianni Gebbia, Lars Hollmer2015Album
It RollsKatharina Weber, Fred Frith, Fredy Studer2015Album
Hello, I Must Be GoingFred Frith, Evan Parker2015Album
Field Days (The Amanda Loops)Fred Frith2015Album
Kwangsi - QuailFred Frith, Helen Mirra2015Album
The Natural OrderFred Frith And John Butcher2014Album
Edge Of The LightLotte Anker, Fred Frith2014Album
Backscatter Bright BlueFred Frith – Barry Guy2014Album
Fred Frith / Michel DonedaFred Frith / Michel Doneda2014Album
new worksFred Frith, Sudhu Tewari2014Single
Live At Cafe Oto 2012Fred Frith, Christian Marclay2013Album
Contretemps Etc...Jean-Pierre Drouet / Fred Frith / Louis Sclavis2011Album
Long As In Short, Walk As In RunAnnie Lewandowski, Fred Frith2011Album
Clearing CustomsFred Frith2011Album
Golden StateChris Cutler, Fred Frith, Thomas Dimuzio2010Album
Eye To Ear IIIFred Frith2010Album
Nowhere. Sideshow. Thin AirFred Frith2009Album
How We Became AmericansClaus Boesser-Ferrari feat. Fred Frith / Marc Ribot2009Album
Impur IIFred Frith2009Album
Still UrbanFred Frith2008Album
DriftSonargemeinschaft & Fred Frith2008Album
Back To LifeFred Frith2008Album
Pas De DeuxFred Frith + Danielle Palardy Roger2008Album
To Sail, To SailFred Frith2008Album
The Big PictureFred Frith2008Album
The Sugar FactoryFred Frith / Evelyn Glennie2007Album
Tuva Space 2001Lesli Dalaba, Fred Frith, Gino Robair, Matthew Sperry2007Album
Reasons For MovingDarren Johnston / Fred Frith / Devin Hoff / Larry Ochs / Ches Smith2007Album
Cutter HeadsFred Frith2007Album
Duo (Victoriaville) 2005Anthony Braxton & Fred Frith2006Album
Ironic UniverseJanet Feder + Fred Frith2006Album
The Happy End ProblemFred Frith2006Album
ImpurFred Frith2006Album
The Compass, Log, And LeadFred Frith, Stevie Wishart, Carla Kihlstedt2006Album
Eleventh HourFred Frith - Arditti Quartet, Uwe Dierksen, William Winant2005Album
Eye To Ear IIFred Frith2004Album
What Leave BehindToychestra And Fred Frith2004Album
That House We Lived InFred Frith2003Album
Tempted To SmileFred Frith / Joëlle Léandre / Jonathan Segel2003Album
Rivers And Tides { Working With TimeFred Frith2003Album
SoshinAntoine Berthiaume / Fred Frith / Derek Bailey2003Album
Prints (Snapshots, Postcards, Messages And Miniatures 1987-2001)Fred Frith2002Album
Dalaba Frith Glick Rieman KihlstedtLesli Dalaba / Fred Frith / Eric Glick Rieman / Carla Kihlstedt2002Album
Freedom In FragmentsFred Frith2002Album
Digital WildlifeFred Frith / Maybe Monday2002Album
WhisperingsMichel Wintsch, Franziska Baumann, Fred Frith & Bernard Trontin : Whisperings2002Album
All Is Bright, But It Is Not DayFred Frith, Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Myles Boisen2002Album
AccidentalFred Frith2001Album
DearnessFred Frith & Anne Bourne & John Oswald2001Album
I Dream Of You JumpingFred Frith - Jean-Pierre Drouet - Louis Sclavis2001Album
ClearingFred Frith2001Album
Ars Longa Dens BrevisFred Frith / John Zorn / Onnyk / Sabu Toyozumi2000Album
Traffic ContinuesFred Frith - Ensemble Modern with Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins2000Album
Later ...Mark Dresser, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori2000Album
Saturn's FingerMaybe Monday - Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka, Larry Ochs1999Album
Friends & EnemiesFred Frith & Henry Kaiser1999Compil.
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire (Graphic Scores 1986 - 96)Fred Frith1999Album
PacificaFred Frith1998Album
MeridiemPercy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell1998Album
The Previous EveningFred Frith1997Album
EtymologySkeleton Crew - Fred Frith - Tom Cora1997Album
En Public Aux Laboratoires D'Aubervilliers ImprovisationsFred Frith / Jean-Pierre Drouet1997Album
Eye To EarFred Frith1997Album
AlliesFred Frith1996Album
RéelFred Frith - Noël Akchoté1996Album
Guitar OrganismK.K. Null With Fred Frith, Guy Lohnes, Agata, Jim O'Rourke1996Album
Middle Of The MomentFred Frith1995Album
NilKatrin Scholl / Daniel Erismann / Lucas Niggli & Fred Frith / Hans Koch / Peter Kowald1995Album
Quartets: Lelekovice (String Quartet No 1) / The As Usual Dance Towards The Other Flight To What Is NotFred Frith performed by Violet Wires And Nick Didkovsky / Mark Howell / René Lussier1994Album
Sounds Of A Distant EpisodeFred Frith / Marc Ribot1994Album
Domestic StoriesChris Cutler / Lutz Glandien with Dagmar Krause, Fred Frith, Alfred Harth1992Album
Improvised Music New York 1981Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Derek Bailey, Charles K. Noyes1992Album
Helter SkelterFred Frith / François-Michel Pesenti1992Album
Stop Complaining / SundownHans Reichel Duets With Fred Frith And Uchihashi Kazuhisa1991Album
DroperaFred Frith & Ferdinand Richard1991Album
Step Across The BorderNicolas Humbert And Werner Penzel, Fred Frith1991Single
Step Across The BorderFred Frith1990Album
Live ImprovisationsFred Frith / Tim Hodgkinson1990Album
Attention SpanBob Ostertag with John Zorn with Fred Frith1990Album
The Top Of His HeadFred Frith1989Album
"The Technology Of Tears" And Other Music For Dance And TheatreFred Frith1988Album
Nous AutresFred Frith - René Lussier1987Album
With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?Fred Frith & Henry Kaiser1987Album
Learn To TalkSkeleton Crew, Fred Frith, Tom Cora1984Album
Cheap At Half The PriceFred Frith1983Album
French GigsLol Coxhill And Fred Frith1983Album
Who Needs Enemies ?Henry Kaiser And Fred Frith1983Album
Voice Of AmericaFred Frith / Bob Ostertag / Phil Minton1982Album
Live In Japan:The Guitars On The Table ApproachFred Frith1982Album
SpeechlessFred Frith1981Album
Dancing In The StreetFred Frith1980Single
GravityFred Frith1980Album
With Friends Like TheseFred Frith / Henry Kaiser1979Album
Guitar Solos 2Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, G.F. Fitzgerald, Hans Reichel1976Album
Guitar SolosFred Frith1974Album
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