Peter Fraize

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Born: August 4, 1965    Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Saxophonist/composer Peter Fraize is a distinct voice in the Washington, DC jazz community. Born in 1965 in Somerville, New Jersey, Peter was raised in northern Virginia where he took up the saxophone at age nine. At sixteen he formed the group Moment's Notice, with whom he played his first professional jobs in and around the northern Virginia area. The group was featured at the 1982 International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap. After graduating high school in 1983, Peter went on to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, studying classical saxophone performance with Ken Radnofsky and playing in the Conservatory Big Band under the direction of bassist Miroslav Vitous. In 1985 he traveled to The Netherlands to study with noted Dutch saxophonist Leo van Oostrom at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he earned his Artist's Diploma in 1989. While in Holland he also studied with Ruud Brink, John Ruocco, and the late tenor legend Sal Nistico. He performed with a wide variety of bands including the avant-garde Waterland Ensemble, the Brazilian group Tanga, and his own quartet, appearing at such places as Amsterdam's Bimhuis, the North Sea Jazz festival, the Heineken and Gouda Jazz Festivals, and numerous other jazz venues throughout Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He was also an original member of the Dutch freebop quintet Scapes, first prize winners at the 1989 Middelzee Jazz Festival....
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”Fraize's commanding tenor tears it up... and what a sense of time!” - Dr.Herb Wong, Past-President International Association of Jazz Educators(IAJE)

“The players' concise solos don't wear out their welcome... and their lines are sharp without being overbearing.” ”This buoyant record is equally suitable for solo listening, propping up a party, or shaking your booty.” - Mark Osteen, Baltimore jazz Alliance (review of Organic Matter)

“Fraize's unpretentious, strong-toned, fluid sound exudes traces of prime Sonny Rollins, taken to a slightly freer zone.” ”Peter Fraize is a tenor saxophonist to watch.” - Steven Loewy, Cadence Magazine (review of Third Attention)

“[Fraize] weilds his tenor with considerable authority, whether casually playing over a swing pulse or punctuating the noirish ”Union Blues” with an urgent cry.” - Mike Joyce, the Washington Post (review of Third Attention)

“...the music is consistently fresh and inspired by Fraize's colorful writing and the improvisatory bent he shares with his bandmates...” - Mike Joyce, Jazz Times (review of You St.)

“As a soloist... displaying the fire of John Coltrane.” ”You St. is filled with honest music and solid playing. The band pushes at its material, not content with cliches or pat readings of the themes.” - Richard Kamins, Cadence Magazine (review of You St.)

“Fraize plays supremely lyrical lines, never boarding the showboat and never giving in to full-bellied dissonance.” ”Fraize's burry sound calls up the history of the tenor while welcoming the present.” - Christopher Porter, Washington City Paper

“Unselfconsciously as down-home as Ornette Coleman's ”Folk Tale,” [”Plain Folk”] easily illustrates its title. Homespun as all get out when playing unaccompanied, Fraize begins running the changes at the top of his horn's range then moves into aviary scream territory.” ”Post-Deconstruction demonstrates all the good that can come out of a structured jam session...” - Ken Waxman, (review of Post- Deconstruction)

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Featured recording “Organic Matter”

Organic Matter
Self Produced (2009)

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