Cellist Erik Friedlander embraces repetition and lyricism in his latest trio | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Cellist Erik Friedlander embraces repetition and lyricism in his latest trio


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Erik Friedlander’s vibrant tone, vivid pizzicato, and fluid bowing have made the cellist a first-call accompanist for John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Laurie Anderson, and the Mountain Goats. He’s also sustained a varied solo career for more than 21 years. His 2008 release Broken Arm Trio celebrated the music of Oscar Peterson—one of jazz’s first cellists—while Claws & Wings, with pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and electronic musician Ikue Mori, contrasted emotional melodies with ephemeral atmospherics to meditate upon loss and healing. Then there’s his marvelous 2007 solo CD Block Ice & Propane, which went rustic to evoke the summers that he spent road-tripping with his father, photographer Lee Friedlander. (Friedlander first assembled Black Phebe, the trio he plays with tonight, for the soundtrack of Nothing on Earth, a 2013 documentary about another photographer, Murray Fredericks.) On last year’s CD Rings (Skipstone), Friedlander uses live looping to thicken his textures and embed subliminal rhythms while Satoshi Takeishi contributes pan-ethnic hand drums and Shoko Nagai delivers lyrical piano themes and sprightly, tango-steeped squeezebox flourishes. It’s some of his most accessible music to date.   v

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