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Fred Frith Trio

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Fred Frith Trio
OriginOakland, California, US
Years active2013–present
LabelsIntakt Records

The Fred Frith Trio is a San Francisco Bay Area based experimental music and free improvising group featuring Fred Frith, Jason Hoopes and Jordan Glenn. They were formed in Oakland, California in 2013, released two studio albums on Intakt Records in 2016 and 2018, and toured Europe in 2015 and 2017, and Brazil in 2018.

Canadian music critic Raul da Gama described the Fred Frith Trio as "[t]hree extravagantly creative musicians employed in making music like we’ve never heard before".[1] DownBeat magazine critic Peter Margasak said they are "a scrappy improvising trio" who "deftly" revisit many of Frith's musical endeavors in "a gritty, unified attack".[2] Andy Robson wrote in the British monthly, Jazzwise that they "conjure improvised soundscapes that defy definition".[3] Comparisons have been made to Massacre, but Robson said the Fred Frith Trio have a sound that is "beguilingly, more delicately sharing, more teasing and 'thinner'" than that of the New York City trio.[3] Musician and educator Kevin Coultas wrote that the trio is one of Frith's "most superlative" bands since Henry Cow.[4]


The Fred Frith Trio comprises English guitarist Fred Frith, American bassist Jason Hoopes, and American drummer/percussionist Jordan Glenn. Frith was a founding member of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow, and from 1999 has been teaching musical improvisation at Mills College in Oakland, California.[5][6][7] Hoopes and Glenn are members of the Oakland experimental song group Jack O' The Clock.[8]

The Fred Frith Trio was formed in Oakland in 2013 and began playing at several local live venues.[5] The naming of the trio was "an accident", and had been suggested "as a joke" by guitarist Ava Mendoza, who had shared the bill with them at one of their early concerts.[9] While Frith was not happy about being headlined, the promoters liked it and the name stuck.[9] In February 2015 the trio toured Europe, performing in Croatia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.[10] They toured Europe again in February 2017, performing in Norway, Austria, Turkey, France, Poland, Italy and Germany.[11] In August 2018 the trio played in Brazil with jazz trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and performance artist Heike Liss.[12]

Frith said "When I proposed this trio I had nothing in mind beyond getting together with a couple of formidable musicians who I love and respect and seeing what would happen". It was not until after their first European tour that "some themes ... start[ed] emerging". Frith explained that he found himself drawing on his "earliest rock and roll experiences", and with Hoopes' "stunning ability to wring every-thing [sic] there is to be wrung out of an electric bass" and Glenn's "playful, irreverent, and absolute authority ... [a]nything can happen. Really. It's a bloody great feeling."[13]

In January 2016 the trio recorded their debut album, Another Day in Fucking Paradise, which was released in June 2016. The album was generally well received by critics: Glenn Astarita described the album in All About Jazz as a "hardcore off-centered delicacy",[14] while Chris Baber, writing in Jazz Views, called it "an exhilarating and explosive kicking against the doors of improvised music".[15] The trio recorded their second studio album, Closer to the Ground in January 2018, which was released in September 2018. It was also generally well received, with Karl Lippegaus for the German radio station WDR 3 describing it as a tangle of "complex soundscapes",[16] and DownBeat magazine music critic Peter Margasak writing that melodies surface occasionally, but the trio focuses on "exploring the nexus of groove and mood" without remaining in one place for too long.[2]


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Other album appearances[edit]


  • Fred Frith – electric guitar, keyboards, voice
  • Jason Hoopes – electric bass, double bass
  • Jordan Glenn – drums, percussion


  1. ^ daGama, Raul (September 12, 2016). "Fred Frith Trio: Another Day in Fucking Paradise". JazzdaGama. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Margasak, Peter (December 2018). "Fred Frith Trio: Closer to the Ground" (PDF). DownBeat. Vol. 86, no. 12. Maher Publications. p. 63. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Robson, Andy (November 2018). "Fred Frith Trio: Closer to the Ground". Jazzwise.
  4. ^ Coultas, Kevin (October 20, 2018). "Cécile McLorin Salvant, Cory Smythe, Phronesis, Fred Frith, and The Lie Detectors". In On The Corner. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Frith, Fred. "Fred Frith". FredFrith.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  6. ^ Frith, Fred. "This and That". FredFrith.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "Faculty & Staff: Fred Frith". Mills College. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  8. ^ "Jack O' The Clock". jackotheclock.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Gottschalk, Kurt (September 2019). "Fred Frith: Busy in the Now" (PDF). The New York City Jazz Record (209): 8. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Fred Frith Trio EUROPEAN TOUR". jordanglennmusic.com. February 19, 2015. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "FRED FRITH TRIO EU TOUR". jordanglennmusic.com. February 10, 2017. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Fred Frith Trio w/ Susana Santos and Heike Liss in Brazil". jordanglennmusic.com. August 30, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Frith, Fred (2016). Another Day in Fucking Paradise (CD liner notes). Fred Frith Trio. Intakt Records.
  14. ^ Astarita, Glenn (September 6, 2016). "Fred Frith Trio: Another Day in Fucking Paradise". All About Jazz. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Baber, Chris. "Fred Frith Trio: Another Day in Fucking Paradise". Jazz Views. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Lippegaus, Karl (September 13, 2018). "Preview Jazz". Westdeutscher Rundfunk (in German). Retrieved October 31, 2018.