FRED FRITH & EVELYN GLENNIE: The Sugar Factory
Fred and Evelyn get together in a big empty space - for a documentary - and improvise, mostly. Evelyn has a vast array of classical and profane percussion instruments and Fred has his guitar and pedals. It's a fascinating collaboration not least in the way it uncovers something of the very different root approaches to improvisation that these two musicians somehow bring successfully together. But, eloquently, it works best on the final track, when Evelyn plays a composed piece for Marimba which Fred, not knowing, simply improvises with, perfectly tonally - improvisation is free, but that doesn't mean it has to be abstract or difficult; the rule should be that there are no rules; and for a good improviser, like an actor, no role should be impossible. The result is a truly glorious piece - sublime would not be too strong (and it would chime happily with a deep root in romanticism). People talk a lot about pure music, but here's a very rare opportunity to hear what such a thing might sound like.