Zenith Works, Tandem, Josh Abrams (DJ set) Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Sept. 17, 9:30 p.m. 2008

Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm is best known as a free improviser, but quite a few of the bands he’s led—Terminal 4, the Valentine Trio—have focused on his compositions. The last of his groups to edge toward rock territory was In Zenith, with drummer Michael Zerang and trombonist Jeb Bishop (who pulled triple duty on guitar and bass), and Lonberg-Holm’s new trio Zenith Works is similar in more than name. This time he’s joined by electric bassist Matt Lux, whose elaborately serpentine lines maintain a throbbing pulse, and drummer Charles Rumback, who splashes his splintery timekeeping with colorful accents. Front and center throughout, Lonberg-Holm sketches melodic themes that serve as springboards for his extended solos, where he braids warm lyricism, effects-driven noise, and pointillistic splatters—he seems to have a guitarist’s mind in a cellist’s body. Tandem, aka cornetist Josh Berman and clarinetist James Falzone, opens. —Peter Margasak

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