"The group as a whole Is to these ears more enjoyable than either the Mahavlshnu Orchestra or the new Billy Cobham band. In fact they are providing the kind of solid rhythmic electric music that I didn't think existed In pop circles anymore. Even the Bitter End, under Interim management, seemed more congenial than usual. Any band that can do that must be all right,"
by Peter Occhiogrosso, August 1.1974
Ironically, the legendary music club in New York City called "The Bitter End" Fred played in summer 1974, for six consecutive weeks, twice a day. The bitter end of the band came a few months later. Some of the concerts at the Bitter End were recorded clearly what it World In Sound enabled at its third Fred CD to present a part of it.
"This album contains the best performances from that summer" is because in the booklet to "Live at the Bitter End" to read. Apparently, the makers of the disc have proceeded extremely critical in the selection of numbers. Only a good forty-five minutes of material they deemed good enough to be published. For all I could have the CD still can fill a half-hour with a few inferior pieces. Perhaps, however, was also the sound quality of the other shots clearly worse or the redundancy is too high (at the frequency of occurrence have Fred sure every night pretty much played the same), who knows?
The sound of "Live at The Bitter End" is very good, maybe a little bit dull, and the mix is not always perfect, but for a not for publication recording from the 70s the whole thing sounds all in all, excellent. Sun right live atmosphere is going to give up. Audience and applause is not heard (maybe played fred largely empty stands) and the pieces are separated by showing and hiding from each other. So the whole thing is more like a live studio session.
In musical terms, Fred arrived here quite the jazz-rock. Dominated by David Rose on violin, the band rocks very punchy and varied meaning carried by the doubly occupied key department (Farfisa organ and electric piano), Joe DeChristopher on the electric guitar and the driving rhythm section. Of necessity, simply because of the almost identical cast, you have to think of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, but the music of Fred was somewhat simpler and more relaxed.
A few symphonic-progressive, easy-affected Canterbury rudiments round out the music and give it a personal touch. The above referenced by Christian King Crimson but I can not really find in this music. All in all, Fred here a playful, very colorful, ultimately, very typical of the middle 70's jazz-rock with which they were moving, but certainly in the top class of comparable bands of the time,the sound is fresh, dynamic, punchy and clear. It dominates a nervous electric violin, but also electric guitar and Farfisa organ, giving the sound a psychedelic accent yet come to bear. Bass and drumming are impulsive, groovy and nuanced. This is also true for the sound of instrumental rehearsed, brimming with power plays overall.
Of the three Fred-albums "Live at The Bitter End" is the least original, although the group is the most professional and the most perfect to swing here. You can hear in the music that it is well-oiled live improvisations.
1. Variations - 3:46
2. Nocturnal - 12:06
3. Freefall - 2:11
4. Morose Code - 4:39
5. Pachanga - 7:44
6. Cathode Ray Fantasy - 2:51
7. Immersions - 6:59
8. Mucous Music - 6:38
*Joe DeCristopher - Electric Guitar
*Mike Robison - Fretless Bass
*Bo Fox - Drums, Percussion
*Peter Eggers - Fender Rhodes
*Ken Price - Farfisa Organ
*David Rose - Electric Violin
1971 Fred - Fred
1974 Fred - Notes On A Picnic