When you live in Columbus, Ohio and regularly attend concerts in and around that city, you certainly have the opportunity for a close encounter of the third kind, a musical one. I speak about fo/mo/deep, what stands according of the band's website for an eclectic groove oriented-funky jazz collective.

Fo/mo/deep are Ron “FatKat” Holmes. Jr (bass), Kenneth “Pounce” Pouncey (percussion), Keith Newton (sax, flute), N. Michael Goecke (trombone), Andre Scott (drums), and Kevin Jones (Keys). For those, who haven't listen to their music yet, we have good news. The group has just released their debut album Eclecticism.

Now, what's that? According to Wikipedia Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.

Now, are we wiser? No! Let's ask the bandleader. Ron explains: "Eclecticism in music draws from a plethora of grooves/styles from around the world." In short we can await a diversity of styles.

The attentive listener is first confronted with the intro Waiting. Someone opened the micro, while the crowd was waiting for the start. Ok, I am curious. Drinks@8(Words), that are dynamic horns, driving drums, a propulsive bass and keys adjustment. Enjoy Michael Goecke's elusive trombone solo followed by Keith Newton's blow of heart on sax. Now Kevin starts on piano his furious excursion. Great interaction between all musicians building their string of tones.

What can a live band cover at its best? A tune from a live album. It's Fu/Mo/Deep's treat of Nathaniel Adderley's Hummin' taken from Cannonball Adderley's album Country Preacher (1969). This is one for Michael's trombone and Ron's bass. Now the trip goes to Africa. Kiggundu's Bazaar has much of onomatopoeia, the horns are bursting out like a stampede of elephants, but there is also oriental atmosphere. Chaos yes, but boxed or as Ron says: "You cannot have groove without pocket."

Mitch Betta Have My Bunny is a superb track from Charlie Hunter's jamming album Songs from the Analog Playground (2001). As Mark Corroto wrote in his review: "There are five tracks of Hunter's quartet laying out jam-band fare that begs to be heard live." And Ron does us the favor to add the live version of the tune on this album too. If you don't get enough of this song, on YouTube is a recording of this song taken from the band's gig at Comfest 2010 Columbus.

There is much more to discover on this surprising album. For example two fantastic renditions (vocal and instrumental) of Lonnie Liston Smith's Expansions (1975). Lonnie Liston Smith is well known for embracing fusion, crossover, soul and funk with his 1970's band the Cosmic Echoes. This is a reminiscence to the flower power generation. Especially to mention is Keith Newton's outstanding flute performance.

According to his friends Ron Holmes is a bass junkie performing in the past like Stanley Clarke on exstasy. So the title Slap that Thang sounds like a piece written by a bass player for a bass player. But Fo/mo/deep is a collective and the members are acting as band. Also exquisite is the cover of John Coltrane's piece Giant Steps (1960). Keyboardist Kevin Jones' approach is a little daring, because he alienated the sound of keyboard perhaps to build a bridge to Keith Newton's adventurous sax play. Ok, they called the tune Giant Fonky Steps and live performance has always its own twist.

With Eclecticism will fo/mo/deep certainly rise a lot of attention in the jazz community. This band has character and diversity. High recommendable in particular for live events!







Buy the album

Album Information

Title: Eclecticism
Artist: Fo/mo/deep
Year: 2010
Length: 0:51:02
Genre: General Jazz
Label: RHMedia Columbus


01 Waiting (Intro) [0:41]
02 Drinks@8(Words) [5:33]
03 Hummin [4:06]
04 At the Market [0:24]
05 Kiggundu's Bazaar [5:32]
06 Mitch Betta Have My Bunny [4:14]
07 Expansions (Vocal) [6:07]
08 Slap that Thang [3:40]
09 Customer Service Call [0:46]
10 Expansions (Instrumental) [6:10]
11 Giant Fonky Steps (Live) [5:51]
12 Mitch Betta Have My Bunny (Live) [7:58]