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På skive


«She Sees»

Cellist-composer Erik Friedlander is a prominent figureof New York City’s experimental Downtown scene and a frequent collaborator of John Zorn. He celebrates his life and his music in She Sees, his fourth album since being diagnosed and beginning to be treated for Parkinson’s Disease in 2016. Friedlander received DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery at NYU Langone last summer, eliminating his tremors, so he could continue playing the cello.

She Sees is the second Sentinel recording – Friedlander’s chamber trio with guitarist Ava Mendoza and Mexican drummer-percussionist Diego Espinosa, augmented now by bassist Stomu Takeishi (who has worked with Friedlander’s projects before). The album was recorded at SONY Studios in Mexico City, as visa issues and Covid protocols denied Espinosa entry to the United States, and was supported by crowdfunding.

She Sees features ten new compositions by Friedlander. The addition of Takeishi to the Sentinel trio opened the band’s dynamics and pushed them toward a bigger, explosive sound. Throughout this album, there is a healthy tension between the elegant, playful and melodic lines of Friedlander’s cello and Mendoza’s aggressive and thorny, rock power chords on the electric guitar, even on the most lyrical and emotional pieces like «Summit». The versatile and propulsive rhythm section of Takeishi and Espinosa feeds this kind of energetic but engaging interplay.

Friedlander really shines on this album and demonstrates, again, his inclusive sonic vision as well as his wisdom and imagination as a composer, performer and bandleader. His music is an impossible but exciting kind of chamber art rock blended with modern jazz and athletic fusion with touches of sensual Latin and funky-psychedelic klezmer music. This rare and rich mix of genres coalesces into a joyful and uplifting sound that is uniquely Sentinel’s.

Eyal Hareuveni

Erik Friedlander (c), Ava Mendoza (g), Stomu Takeishi (b), Diego Espinosa (dr, perc)

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