150

Fred Lonberg-Holm Trio: Other Valentines

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Lonberg-Holm Trio: Other Valentines Cellists are few and far between in the jazz world, which is just one reason Fred Lonberg-Holm is special. His approach to the instrument is decidedly non-classical, reaping as it does all sorts of alternative tonal colors that would be deemed "incorrect," which makes it ideal for the sort of in-and-out improvisation that he favors. Lonberg-Holm has called Chicago home since the late '90s, and in the last few years he's built up important relationships with several local players, including Ken Vandermark; he's also a member of Peter Brötzmann's sprawling talent-rich Tentet.

Other Valentines is a sequel of sorts to Lonberg-Holm's previous trio record, A Valentine for Fred Katz (Atavistic, 2002), but its sources of inspiration are wider-ranging, as judged by the composers of these ten medium-length tracks, which include Sun Ra, Jeff Tweedy, Syd Barrett, and Gil Scott-Heron. (The aforementioned Fred Katz pops his head up again at the end, and Lonberg-Holm includes a couple of his own pieces along the way.) Bassist Jason Roebke returns from the earlier recording, and drummer Frank Rosaly ably replaces Glenn Kotche.

Melody comes first in this music, and Lonberg-Holm makes his instrument truly sing on "Winter in America," which he turns into a warm, expressive torch song atop minimal rhythm section accompaniment. Swing is sometimes important, too, as evidenced by the opening Sun Ra tune, which has a light, catchy, finger-snapping groove. But when the cellist travels the outer spaceways, so to speak, he adds a layer or two of tension and release that defy easy comprehension. This is involving music, though it may appear deceptively simple at times, and it presents many opportunities where raw intuition serves as a better roadmap than the usual sort of pattern recognition.

To the extent these pieces can be classified, each is a song of some sort with its own mood and message, which reflects the spirit of romance implied in the album's title. And the singer, in almost all cases, is Fred Lonberg-Holm, who manages to imprint each piece with a distinctive aura. Elegant, creative, and at times minimalistic, this recording doesn't scream for attention, but it rewards it on many levels.

Track Listing: East of Uz; Fool; Arnold Layne; Almost Mid-Day; Vals P

Personnel: Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello; Jason Roebke: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Sanctuary" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctuary
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Planetary Prince" CD/LP/Track Review Planetary Prince
by Christopher Hoard
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Anybody's Spring" CD/LP/Track Review Anybody's Spring
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 2, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.