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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Fred Frith (guitar, violin, piano, bass, drums); Marc Hollander (alto saxophone, bass clarinet); Dave Newhouse (alto saxophone, organ); Billy Swanni (bass); Paul Sears (drums).
  • Recorded at Catch-A-Buzz Studio, Rockville, Maryland in November 1979 and at Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg, Switzerland in January 1980.
  • Personnel: Fred Frith (guitar, violin, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, percussion); Asha Swanson (vocals); Eino Haapala (guitar, mandolin); Lars Hollmer (accordion, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, piano, organ, keyboards); Frank Wuyts (recorder, keyboards, drums, percussion); Marc Hollander (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, wind); Tom Scott (saxophone, soprano saxophone); Dave Newhouse (alto saxophone, organ); Chris Cutler (marimba, snare drum, maracas, percussion); Paul Sears, Hasse Bruniusson (drums); Veronique Vincent, Etienne Conod, Denis VanHecke, Olivia Bruynhooghe, Michel Berkmans, Catherine Jauniaux (percussion); Tina Curran (wind).
  • Recording information: Catch-A-Buz Studio, Rockville, MD (08/1979-01/1980); Norrgaarden Nyvla, Uppsala, Sweden (08/1979-01/1980); Sunrise Studios, Kirchberg, Switzerland (08/1979-01/1980).
  • Photographer: Tina Curran.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Tina Curran; Frank Wuyts; Catherine Jauniaux.
  • Arranger: Henry Cow.
  • GRAVITY is arguably the finest offering from Fred Frith, a stylistically uncategorizable guitarist-extraordinaire. As usual, Frith strives to obliterate musical distinctions, and GRAVITY is an explosion of pan-genre creativity. Frith throws herky-jerky dance structures, non-Western folk melodies, avant-garde schematics, tribal rhythms, and odd instrumentation into the pot and draws out various mixtures with the precision and finesse of a virtuoso.
  • A sprightly, cabaret-like theme is visited in "Spring Any Day Now." The warped carnival motif of "Hands Of The Juggler" (which ends unexpectedly as an Indian raga) abuts the prog-rock theatrics on "Norrgarden Nyvla." An Irish gig is the basis of "A Career In Real Estate," but Frith's compositions never reference a single style for long--as the fractured, schizophrenic "Crack In the Concrete" and "Slap Dance" (not to mention the world's weirdest cover of "Dancing In The Street") will attest. This record is a courageous, musically dazzling, and stylistically diverse tour de force.
Professional Reviews
The Wire (06/02, p.56) - "...The whole album resonates with excitement at the cosmopolitan soundscape of New York....GRAVITY is a bit of a classic - good-humored and richly melodic..."
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