Tumble is a Northern California-based collective that includes Robert Heirendt on mbira, Rob Holland on bass, Sean Kerrigan on guitar, and Randy McKean on tenor saxophone and clarinets. Drawing inspiration from the groups Oregon, Codona, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and musicians such as John Coltrane and Thomas Mapfumo, the quartet’s intricate compositions combine folkish melodies and driving rhythms with an improvisational sensibility.
Heirendt provides the core of the group’s sound on the mbira, the Zimbabwean instrument similar to the kalimba and sometimes referred to as the thumb piano. Joined by McKean and Kerrigan, this original incarnation of the band self-released their debut CD Music for Trio in 2015. Tumble’s Cure-All debut, Waves, was recorded during bassist Bill Douglass’s three-year tenure with the band (2015 to 2018). Holland joined Tumble as their new bassist in 2019, bringing a vast knowledge of Latin American and African musical traditions to the ensemble.