Cadence Magazine on "The Wisdom of Notes"

Review of The Wisdom of Notes
from Cadence Magazine

Disk (2) forms an interesting contrast from (1) with someone I’ve not heard before, Fred Fried,in a set on the nylon-stringed seven-string guitar. I gather from his website that this is the latest in a series of a number of albums. Regardless of what has gone before, The Wisdom of Notes gives you a good idea of his artistry. His nylon-string style has something in common with the many great Brazilian Bossa guitarists and also Charlie Byrd. His single line soloing, though, seems to be of his own devising. The lines he creates have an originality to them. There is a tasteful restraint, a coolness, a musicality that those who appreciate the more acoustic sounds of the idiom and instrument will enjoy. He is ably backed up by veteran Michael Moore and the dependable, sensitive Tony Tedesco.

The program of mostly standards and a couple of originals is well-paced. A reflective original with just a shade of Brazil in its sound, the title track “The Wisdom of Notes” features an inventive Fried devoid of those Bop clichés one expects from many guitarists in this mode. “You Must Believe in Spring” opens with a gorgeous unaccompanied rubato guitar, then ballad-tempo rhythm accompaniment. Fried’s single-note lines seem to be chosen carefully, sometimes working around the overall phrasing of the melody. Harmonizations are straightforward but subtly executed. “Seesaw” and “Peau Douce” have a few moments where Fried seems a little uncomfortable, the lines momentarily become a little jumbled, then get right again. Perhaps an additional take would have helped. These are minor blemishes however. On the whole, Fried shows himself on this disk to be a guitarist of prowess and a developing voice in the music. Recommended.

Grego Applegate Edwards