Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Nels Cline Singers|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Nels Cline is one of the most versatile, imaginative and original guitarists active today. Combining breathtaking technique with an informed musical intelligence, Cline displays a mastery of guitar expression that encompas... more »
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Nels Cline is one of the most versatile, imaginative and original guitarists active today. Combining breathtaking technique with an informed musical intelligence, Cline displays a mastery of guitar expression that encompasses delicate lyricism, sonic abstractions, and skull-crunching flights of fancy, inspiring Jazz Times to call him "The World's Most Dangerous Guitarist."
Cline's new double album "Initiate" by The Nels Cline Singers (with Devin Hoff on bass and Scott Amendola on drums) documents a remarkable three-day recording session at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, and The Singers' first live concert recording at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. Initiate is a double album - one studio recording, one live recording. Three members of Deerhoof play percussion on the live album.
Nels Cline is known for his work with members of Sonic Youth and Deerhoof, Mike Watt, Banyan, The Geraldine Fibbers, Carla Bozulich, Yuka Honda, and jazz artists such as Julius Hemphill, Tim Berne, Charlie Haden, and many others. Cline is also the lead guitarist in Wilco.
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Inspired & Varied
A. Stockton | Benicia, CA | 04/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nels, Scott & Devin have ascended another peak with Initiate. Initiate is a double album that is well worth the long format.
Disk 1 (studio) is a carefully-produced grouping of new NCS material that finds the gang exploring and expanding. Music with raging tempos and perilous structure make way for pieces that possess love-song sentimentality and gorgeous hooks. Although there is more experimentation on this album (electronic instruments and maybe some studio tricks) the Singers sound comfortable, the music doesn't sound forced, and the tracks are strong and memorable. The gentle "Grow Closer" would be my favorite track from Disk 1 if I had to choose. "Mercy (Procession)" is another outstanding track that slowly builds and builds into a loud, tense, and unrestrained finally.
Disk 2 (live) finds the NCS in perfect form. Disk 2, unlike disk 1, is RAW. Anyone that has seen the NCS live knows how deliciously raw they sound. One high point on disk 2 is "Forge" which features Nels' furious right hand and agile left (both of which would be devastating if possessed by a pugilist) and Devin and Scott's loudly-precise rhythm section(like having just your rear molars knocked out by a mighty hammer of war). Another notable track would be a cover of Weather Report's "Boogie Woogie Waltz". Thankfully we now have a NCS live disk.
Also, Nels and crew have outdone themselves with respect to the packaging of Initiate. The artwork and design of the album warrants the pressing of some vinyl. I would recommend buying the album in lieu of the download for this reason only.
The Modern Standard for Electric Guitar
Srinjay Banerjee | Ithaca, NY | 05/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first time that I'm hearing a Nels Cline solo effort. I was only aware of him prior to this as having been the guitar player for Wilco, and had heard his tasty minimalist/textural ideas. I did know that he reworked Coltrane's "Interstellar Space" with himself and a drummer. Though I haven't heard the album myself, I read positive things about it and I figured I owed it to myself to check this album out.
After having gone through the first CD, I have to re-iterate: this is the modern standard for electric guitar music. Perhaps I'm too taken in, because what I have heard was something completely beyond my expectations. Every once in a while there come musicians who turn the world on its ear. Combined with an impeccable grasp on the music and jaw-dropping technique, they also create music which reaches the highest possible limits of imagination; music that syncretizes every aspect of human emotion into a cohesive whole and reflects the spirit of its time, and in doing so paradoxically becomes timeless.
I believe Nels Cline has been truly successful in this very difficult task. Channeling the spirits of the late John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and Karlheinz Stockhausen, with dreamy surreal escapades into perhaps the mind of David Lynch, interwoven guitar lines reminiscent of part Jim Hall (to which he dedicates a song) part Sonny Sharrock; all effortlessly assimilated into Mr. Cline's own musical identity. This is what electric guitar should sound like today and this music is its perfect showcase because ironically there is no more the separation between instrument, gadgets for sonic manipulation, harmonic framework and musical content. In a sense, sometimes the guitar transcends above its own existence in the MUSIC - and that's just wonderful, 'cos underneath it's all its again very much present and alive.
For anyone who's interested in hearing what tomorrow will sound like, please check out this album.
I wish I could describe the music in more generic terms or accessible sonic labels, but that would just be foolish, and wrong. Thank you Nels Cline for turning me back onto the electric guitar when I was beginning to think, it's just about all been done. I am indebted to you forever."
Nels Cline and Co. Initiate and Continue
Etan Rosenbloom | Los Angeles | 05/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been fascinating to watch Nels Cline's avant-jazz/modern-creative/whathaveyou career grow in parallel with his tenure with Wilco. Anyone who's heard Nels Cline's work with the Nels Cline Singers knows what he's capable of -- luscious melodies and grotesque noise, shockingly developed technique and total subservience to tone, outré experiments and gorgeous moodscapes. Cline has never had difficulty separating the in and out, but on Initiate, they feel more effectively intertwined than on any of Nels Cline Singers previous albums.
Featuring the Large Hadron Collider on Initiate's artwork was a nice move. There are lots of collisions here. Organic vs. calculated. Analog vs. digital. Composition vs. improv. Frenzied vs. relaxed. Even the decision to include one disc of studio recordings and one of live recordings feels like a shout out to the concept of dueling poles.
The studio disc has its share of frenetic moments and eerie soundscapes, but overall it's an inviting, good-spirited collection. "Floored" goes deep into jazz-funk fusion, while "King Queen" and "Grow Closer" take the group into the jammed-out worldbeat that Scott Amendola does so well with his own group. "Divining" simply glows, with a relaxed Cline theme and some marimba for warmth; the amniotic immersion of "You Noticed" and "Into It (You Turn)" offer a liquidy suspension for the elegiac ballad "Zingiber" and droning buildup "Mercy (Procession)" to float around in.
The live disc feels darker and more aggressive, with plenty of opportunities for prickly interaction amongst Cline, Amendola and Sickafoose. Amendola explodes throughout "Forge," in counterpoint to the song's chiming guitar themes; "Raze" is abusively dissonant, while "Thurston County" starts with some ugly improv from everyone before morphing into an appropriately Sonic Youth-style theme. The tender ballads "And Now the Queen" and "Blues, Too" showcase Cline's guitar tone but also some delightful, percussive improv sections. The latter tune ends with a pitch-black tone only hinted at by the tune's crepuscular theme. When the Singers go loud, they go WAY loud on this disc.THere's some absolutely explosive improv on "Fly Fly" and the closing Joe Zawinul tune "Boogie Woogie Waltz."
At 135 minutes, Initiate offers a whole lot of everything from this already wide-ranging group. As such it's a good place to, you know, initiate your Nels Cline collection."