Fred Frith & Hans Reichel | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Fred Frith & Hans Reichel

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The career of guitarist/composer Fred Frith has taken him all over the place; once a member of British fusion unit Henry Cow, he's since worked with Material, Brian Eno, the Golden Palominos, Skeleton Crew, and others (his most recent stop being Live, Love, Larf & Loaf, a nifty LP collaboration with Richard Thompson, Henry Kaiser, and ex-Captain Beefheart drummer John "Drumbo" French). Frith's guitar style--raucous one moment, softly cerebral the next--takes him all over the place too. Constantly searching for new sounds, Frith likes to disassemble and rebuild his guitars in unusual ways so as to short-circuit his own habitual approaches toward the instrument. It's one of many idiosyncrasies he shares with West German guitarist Hans Reichel, with whom he'll be dueting this weekend. Reichel gets his ax to sound alternately like a koto, a chorus of Himalayan bells, and a human voice--but like Frith, he keeps his repertoire of sounds harnessed to a disciplined structural instinct. This concert pairing seems especially interesting in fight of the fact that both Frith and Reichel have been doing fascinating things with two-hand finger tapping since the mid-70s--which should be educational for those blinded by flashy, empty technicians like Stanley Jordan. Saturday, 8 PM, Southend Musicworks, third floor, 341 W. Superior; 283-0531.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Y. Utsonomiya, Dagmar Gebers.

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