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Survival Unit III: Joe McPhee, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang: Synchronicity

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The first for the label Harmonic Convergence to come in an edition of three hundred is Synchronicity by the trio, Survival Unit III. Joe McPhee leads the group on alto saxophone and alto clarinet. Fred Lonberg-Holm plays cello and electronics. Michael Zerang is on drums. The set was recorded at The Hideout in Chicago in 2007.

The three musicians recognize before themselves the space in which to wrap their own sounds around that of the others without conflict or disorientation. The music is concerned with finding common ground, intersecting, separating and merging again in a very unconventional way. In the first cut, for example, a cackling 20 minute journey grounds itself in the hugeness of Zerang’s mallet to tom and bass drum sound about half-way through at which point Lonberg-Holm and McPhee focus on shaping a coherent melody that bursts out of its skin again by the end of the piece.

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