When you consider all the musicians that have recorded duos with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm
, it sounds kind of like the SPAM Monty Python sketch comedy piece. "Yes, I'll have some Fred Lonberg-Holm and Ken Vandermark
." What, you don't want Fred Lonberg-Holm and Axel Dörner, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Mats Gustafsson
, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Peter Brotzmann
, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Paal Nilssen-Love
, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Frode Gjerstad
or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Nick Stephans, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and David Stackenäs, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang
? SPAM, Fred, SPAM, Fred, SPAM, Fred, Fred Fred.
Lonberg-Holm is in such demand because he is both a resourceful accompanist and a versatile musician. He was the most natural replacement for Jeb Bishop
in the Vandermark 5, recording with the quintet until it dissolved a few years ago. He has been a key ally to saxophonist Ken Vandermark in his various Territory Bands, The Frame Quartet, Pipeline, the Topology Nonet, and the Vandermark organized Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet.
As a duo, they are the definition of simpatico.Resistance
recorded live in 2013 is an expected performance of unforeseen music. That said, it boosts Vandermark's stock (not that he needs it) as a soloist. He has, of late, stepped out of his role as composer, arranger, and organizer of ensembles to perform solo and in improvising duos with Nate Wooley
, Agustí Fernandez
, Mats Gustafsson
, and Tim Daisy
. Freed from all the duties associated with large ensembles, he can focus on improvising.
Here his saxophone and various clarinets weave, bounce, and at times, collide with Lonberg-Holm's cello and electronics. "J = óE" pairs a drunken tenor saxophone with a skidding sawed cello that builds into a locomotive engine of sound. The pair develop a thunderhead of animation, saxophone pushing against the thrum of electric energy. "P = 12R" searches for poetry in the small bites of circulating thought. Lonberg-Holm's cello can muster Jimi Hendrix notes or play the tip-toeing soundtrack to a Warner Brothers' cartoon. He scrapes (literally) notes from the wood of his instrument on "I = V/R" while Vandermark's clarinet explores the quiet corners of their meeting. The music here, all improvised, fills a gap in both their discographies, and it was a long time coming.