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Party Knüllers: Was Something Lost in Translation?

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The duo Party Knüllers is a transatlantic collaboration between Chicago's own Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics and Norway's Ståle Liavik Solberg on drums & percussion. The two played together in a quartet, also including clarinetist Frode Gjerstad and vocalist Stine Janvin Motland, on VC/DC (Hispid, 2011), the inaugural release of the label that now releases two albums by the duo themselves. One of these albums is a vinyl collaboration with Chicagoan Jim Baker on analogue synthesizer, bearing a bizarre ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Lonberg-Holm / Nick Stephens: Crackle: Six improvisations for Cello and Double Bass

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These improvisations between Chicago's ubiquitous cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and veteran British double bassist Nick Stephens, known for ongoing collaborations with Norwegian reed master Frode Gjerstad and South-African drummer Louis Moholo- Moholo, were recorded in 2011 in Stephens' home-town, Northwood. The duo immediately establish a common language that encompasses organic elements of fiery free jazz, through exploration of extended bowing techniques or often simple, straight- forward and lyrical, chamber playing. The two juggle between these shifting elements, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stirrup: Sewn

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The collective trio Stirrup is a salient example of the genre-defying cooperative spirit that defines Chicago's creative improvised music scene. Accustomed to collaborating with a wide variety of artists, these three musicians seamlessly incorporate an array of influences and approaches on Sewn, their debut recording as a trio.Drawing upon the folksy lyricism that underpins their ensemble work as the rhythm section of the Horse's Ha (a band that also features vocalist Janet Bean of Freakwater and Eleventh Dream ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stirrup: Sewn

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It's apparent why Ken Vandermark invited cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm to join the now defunct Vandermark 5 a decade ago. His versatility allows him to play a full spectrum of music from chamber jazz to stadium rock. One minute he's Pablo Casals, the next Jimi Hendrix. His adventures have taken him from Peter Brotzmann's Tentet to Dave Rempis' Ballister, to Chicago's Fast Citizens, and his own Valentine Trio, Seval, ADA Trio, and The Boxhead Ensemble. Stirrup is a trio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Lonberg-Holm's Fast Citizens: Gather

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When a band gathers some very imaginative musicians into its fold, it can only lead to one thing: an amazing listening experience. Fast Citizens has proved that over the years from the time saxophonist Keefe Jackson formed the band in 2003 and released Ready Everyday (Delmark Records, 2006), through to to Two Cities (Delmark Records, 2009), with saxophonist Aram Shelton at the helm. The members of the band were democratic to the core and decided that they would take turns ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Motland / Lonberg-Holm / Solberg / Gjerstad: VCDC

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This unconventional quartet is comprised of Frode Gjerstad, fellow Norwegians and citizens of the Norwegian reeds hero's hometown, Stavanger, vocalist Stine Janvin Motland and drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg (known also as the MotSol duo, for whom Gjerstad produced the debut, Strap on (FMR, 2006)). Frequent Gjerstad collaborator, Chicago-based cellist Fred Longberg-Holm, rounds out the quartet, his last collaboration with the reed player, Sugar Maple, together with Chicago drummer Michael Zerang, released by FMR in 2010. Even though ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extensions

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Viola and cello have coexisted in splendid harmony on the concert stage for hundreds of years, both instruments bolstering powerful orchestral settings for every composer, even before Haydn, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven employed violin and cello in compositions with vivid effect. What delights the inner ear, however, especially on the brazen Fine Extensions, is the fact that these instruments transcend all earlier sonic relationships between the strings. Locked in the embrace of a tonal adventure, jousting with one another, egging ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extensions

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Dating from a concert in Zurich in March 2009, this duo between violist Charlotte Hug and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm adds to the impressive array of improvising string recordings already on Emanem. The viola and cello--the two middle members of the violin family--overlap in the pitches they can produce, so the combination makes for fascinating listening; mainly, their sounds are distinct enough to be clearly distinguishable, but sometimes they play in similar ranges so that they blend together more. Hug and ...



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