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
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
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
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]