FRED FRITH — Cheap At Half The Price (review)

FRED FRITH — Cheap At Half The Price album cover Album · 1983 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
js
'Cheap at Half the Price' is the third album by Fred Frith as a band leader, it is preceded by the brilliant world music influenced first album 'Gravity', and the more avant-garde sophomore effort 'Speechless'. 'Cheap', just like 'Gravity', turns to Eastern Europe and the Middle East for musical inspiration, but unfortunately 'Cheap' is not nearly as successful as 'Gravity'. The difference between the two albums is that 'Gravity' is mostly instrumental, but 'Cheap' is made up of odd world/avant-garde/pop songs that often feature Frith's 'quirky' vocals, and that is a problem. Fred Frith cannot sing. I think he knows this but assumes that since this is avant-garde rock his clever socio-political insights will be good enough to pull things off. The truth is Frith's music sounds so much better when he stays instrumental, which is proven on this album by the several instrumental songs on side two. The other problem with 'Cheap' is that a lot of the songs were built from pre-recorded drum tracks that repeat the same pattern (some of these drum patterns also show up on other Frith albums). Once again 'Gravity' was much better because the songs were performed by live musicians playing creative arrangements that included a lot of rhythmic variations.

This album is OK, but Frith is capable of much better.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Odesa 21st Century Modern
VADIM NESELOVSKYI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Resonance Post Bop
MEGUMI YONEZAWA
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Raag Khamaaj Dhun Khemtataal
JIMI DURSO
js· 4 hours ago
Conversations Vol. 2
COOPER-MOORE
js· 1 day ago
Finding Home Suite: III. Home
CARN DAVIDSON 9
js· 1 day ago
Andesine (Pt. 1)
LA PIEUVRE
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us