All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extensions

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
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 each other on with brave linearity, vertically and horizontally, to explore every aspect of the machinations of sound and its descriptive grammar as well, artful ingenuity abounds, amidst an epic journey that penetrates myriad layers of sound.

The great invention of this album's music is not so much technical innovation, or extending the sound palette of each of the instruments. Rather, violist/singer Charlotte Hug and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm embrace the very anatomy of each instrument, including the sound palette that each is endowed with. Thus, there is an almost human relationship that rubs shoulders with an industrial one, encompassing sound design that prompts unfettered exploration. Hug drives the music in a forward motion, undulating and almost threatening to take it vertically. This is only a ploy; an invitation to Lonberg-Holm to slide in his attack, groaning from bottom to top. Once their voices entwine, there is an ocean of sound that results from Hug's myriad overtones, like frank notes played boldly, but with a soft bow. Then there is the suggestion that the music will be goaded by one or the other—pushed, twisted, swerving, yet hip to each push from cello or viola into a new sonic stratosphere.

It is sometimes impossible to separate the sensibilities of the two musicians, despite the fact they come from two opposing sound spectrums and collide to make a third. Each has developed a unique grammatical approach to the language of their instruments. Yet both Hug and Lonberg-Holm succeed in expanding the literature of improvised music, making this very thing possible because they refuse to be cowed down by conventional tonal spatulas. Thus the cello becomes the doppelganger of the viola, as it squeals delightfully, goading the viola to moan with terrible human pain, almost as if the anatomies of the two instruments were interchanged.

On this path-breaking album, Hug and Lonberg-Holm succeed in breathing new life into their instruments as they interrelate—not just as improvising musicians, but simply as two classic instruments, launching into a relationship where one rises to complete the life of the other, and vice versa.

Track Listing: Part One; Part Two; Part Three.

Personnel: Charlotte Hug: viola, voice; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello.

Title: Fine Extensions | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Emanem


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "New Road: Iowa Memoirs" CD/LP/Track Review New Road: Iowa Memoirs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "Ultimate Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Ultimate Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Transatlantic" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017