With Fredi, you never knew what was coming your way. Forget it with Fredi. Being with him and playing with him in Duo was like actually experiencing the relativity of time and of space. Time? In private a given. In music? To his conditions. Space? In private conditional. In music? A given, therefore at his disposal. Not an easy person to deal with in time and space, whether in private or in music.
In Jazz, after you count off the time of a tune because someone is going to have to play it with you, you tend to think that any expression of any musical thought has to fit into the more or less quantifiable framework of the underlying pulse. Forget it with Fredi. Fredi takes his time. Should it happen that his musical thought has not yet come to it‘s conclusion when time demands it, time can wait. You can wait. Even Fredi can wait. Fredi can even wait for the Universe to wait. So the Universe waits while Fredi and you and time wait for his musical thought to come to it‘s conclusion. And when it does, no one regrets having waited.
Fredi loved language. Language is the realm of sound and meaning. Sound without meaning? Meaning without sound? Forget it with Fredi.
I just listened to „Rubato“ for the first time, and Fredi is all there. I can grab his musical thought-process with my hands. No hiding behind anything. Because he exposes himself so much when he plays, I can feel him weighing his words, taking his time, and giving the piano time to add it‘s sound to his meaning. There are moments I see him looking over his shoulder, as if to say it‘s not his fault that it‘s taking a while.
In all the years I played with him, I never heard a single lie come out of the piano; mistakes, yes, but no lies. I thought he just did not think it was necessary. Hearing him alone on „Rubato“ makes me assume that he did‘nt even know how to lie. To me, it is Fredi condensed, honest, vulnerable. And very mature: he happened to love beauty in music, and was not afraid to tell you so...
(Nat Su, sax player and friend, September 2006)