On his new album Core 3.0, Fred Fried take full advantage, harmonically and melodically of his new custom 8-string guitar. This guitar has a low A string below the low E and a high A string above the high E. These additional strings enable Fred "to produce chord voicings on the high end without sacrificing the bass".
Jazz is improvised music so even though all compositions are by Fred Fried, all three musicians contribute equally to the wonderful music on this album. Miki Matsuki on drums and Michael Lavoie on bass provide a solid rhythm background to Fred Fried compositions and piano like phrasing.
Some of the music on Core 3.0 has a strong Bebop influence, including Leanne’s Number, a piece with interesting changes in tempo and powerful bass playing by Michael Lavoie. The track Henry reminds me harmonically and melodically of Coltrane My Favorite Things.
The ballad Mischa’s Labyrinth starts with beautiful arpeggios on guitar followed by good melodic improvisations. On Cloud Dancer the intro sounds like a lullaby and then change into a nice swinging groove. Michael Lavoie plays the main melody and also plays the first solo on the track Melody Four, another swinging piece with Fred exchanging improvisations with Miki Matsuki on drums.
A brazilian influence may be heard on Weather Changes with a cool Bossa feeling and April’s March reminiscent of Jobim classic Chovendo na Roseira. For these amazing musicians the composition is the most important thing and it surely shows all through this album.