Named after the famous Edward Hopper painting, which depicts four people in a diner late in the evening, Nighthawks was conceived by cellist Erik Friedlander under similarly evocative circumstances--during the nearly week-long blackout that enveloped much of New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in September of 2012. Inspired by the uncanny quiet and solitude, Friedlander set to work crafting a series of new compositions for his roots music-based Bonebridge quartet with slide guitarist Doug Wamble, bassist Trevor ...read more
How does one deal with the loss of a loved one? For many artists, expressing remorse through their work is a normal, sometimes necessary, part of the grieving process. Creative improvising musicians, like renowned cellist Erik Friedlander, are no exception.Lynn Shapiro, Friedlander's wife of 22 years (and an award winning choreographer and writer in her own right), died in November 2011 after a long bout with breast cancer. Just days after her passing Friedlander tore a ligament in ...read more
The quartet featured on Bonebridge is an augmented variation of cellist Erik Friedlander's Broken Arm Trio. The group, with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Mike Sarin, was originally conceived in tribute to Oscar Pettiford's cello experiments--which were undertaken in 1949 when the legendary bassist played the smaller instrument while recovering from a baseball injury. Refraining from bowing, Friedlander employs a fulsome pizzicato technique on the new ensemble's self-titled debut, finding supple concordance with slide guitarist Doug Wamble's spiky twang. Their ...read more
Meet Erik Friedlander: Cellist Erik Friedlander is a composer and an improviser, a first-call studio player and a jazzbo. A veteran of NYC's downtown scene, his 12 CDs as a leader recently include, Block Ice & Propane, his solo cello reinterpretation of American roots music; The Broken Arm Trio, a trio tribute to jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford; and Volac, a romantic collection of virtuoso solo cello pieces by John Zorn. Erik has performed on 100's of recordings and ...read more
Inspired by the late great bassist Oscar Pettiford (1922-1960) who, after breaking his arm took up the cello is this project by the cellist Erik Friedlander. His Broken Arm Trio is a sweet downhome session full of homespun jazz. Together with bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Trio-Convulsant, Junk Genius) and drummer Mike Sarin (Thomas Chapin, Ben Allison, Mario Pavone) Friedlander puts down (for the most part) his bow to produce some inspired and folksy pizzicato playing.While Friedlander has ...read more
The self-titled debut of Downtown cellist Erik Friedlander's Broken Arm Trio refers to an injury that legendary bassist Oscar Pettiford sustained while playing baseball in 1949. Pettiford couldn't play upright bass with his arm in a sling, but he could handle the cello; he proceeded to develop a style on the smaller instrument that yielded a spate of cello-themed albums, including the classic My Little Cello (Fantasy, 1964), a personal favorite of Friedlander's.
Inspired by Pettiford's efforts, Friedlander ...read more
Erik Friedlander's last solo cello disc, the avant-tinged Maldoror (Brassland, 2003), was a series of in-the-moment improvisations inspired by 19th century French surrealist poetry. Block Ice & Propane is an entirely different beast, stimulated by memories of childhood camping trips across the United States, on which Friedlander's parents took him each summer. It's no less adventurous or spontaneous, but it is considerably more accessible--how Bill Frisell might sound, perhaps, had he chosen the cello rather than the guitar.
Friedlander's impressive ...read more
The seemingly endless horizon of the Great Plains. The vast expanse of Big Sky country. The NYC skyline emerging after a long trip. Some features of America are best appreciated with the ground-level intimacy afforded by a classic road trip. And once experienced, they cannot help but leave an impression. Cellist Erik Friedlander used these impressions, gleaned from childhood family trips, as inspiration for his solo CD Block Ice & Propane. No stranger to developing extended techniques ...read more