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 Brötzmann'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 formed from the rhythm section of Horse's Ha, an indie/folk/rock band. Lonberg-Holm, bassist Nick Macri, and drummer Charles Rumback come together as Stirrup, a Midwestern answer to Bill Frisell's Americana music.
With his electronics mischief included, Lonberg-Holm can stretch his cello to sound like an electric violin"Super Seeded" or a Japanese koto"Song For Salim." He also doubles on tenor guitar"Zenith II" for a more diverse sound. The first track, "Zenith," displays his extended cello technique complemented by electronics. The cellist is dutifully supported by Rumback and Macri with a rock-solid groove as a platform for his explorations. Pieces of blues slip out, rock is hinted at, as are hypnotic folky soundscapes. Stirrup coats American roots music with a layer of avant sound delivered with a pleasing infectious groove.
Track Listing: In Zenith I; Floating Melody; The Profit of Field Stripping; Super Seeded; Song for Salim; Insen
for Yonsei; Convulsive; In Zenith II.
Personnel: Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello, tenor guitar; Nick Macri: bass; Charles Rumback: drums.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.