189

Nels Cline: Coward

By

Sign in to view read count
Nels Cline: Coward Few guitarists cover the sheer range of Nels Cline, moving between genres from folk and rock, as a member of Wilco, to free jazz, with Vinny Golia and Gregg Bendian among others, to his own highly eclectic projects that impinge on all of these categories.

Coward is a solo record, in the sense that it's the work of a single musician, but it rarely sounds that way, Cline building up many of the pieces with layers of overdubs, combining guitars and effects pedals with sruti boxes, miscellaneous strings, synthesizers and a drum machine. Despite the level of hardware, there's an intimacy to much of the CD, giving the feeling of folk music or the kind of virtuoso steel-string acoustic music associated with Robbie Basho or John Fahey, a lyricism that bridges Elizabethan lute music, baroque sonatas, Appalachian folk tunes and Eastern idioms that first found voice on saz, oud, veena or koto. The apotheosis of this music comes in the most extended piece, "Rod Poole's Gradual Ascent to Heaven," a profoundly meditative, microtonal reflection on the death of Cline's friend and partner (with Jim McCarthy) in the Acoustic Guitar Trio. There are also pieces here which push electric guitar to electronic, including the dense drone of the opening "Epiphyllum" and the floating sci-fi weirdness of "Thurston Country."

Its range is vast, but the CD flows together seamlessly, each piece issuing from the same highly developed musical sensibility. Cline provides copious notes on his assembly processes on his website nelscline.com/coward.html. It's music well worth exploring.


Track Listing: Epiphyllum; Prayer Wheel; Thurston County; The Androgyne; Rod Poole's Gradual Ascent To Heaven; The Divine Homegirl; X Change(s); The Nomad's Home; Onan Suite: I. Amniotica, II. Lord & Lady, III. Dreams in the Mirror, IV. Interruption (Onan's Psychedelic Breakdown), V. Seedcaster, VI. The Liberator; Cymbidium.

Personnel: Nels Cline: acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel guitar, autoharp, Dobro, Marxophone, ukulele, zither, sruti boxes, Megamouth, Korg Kaossilator, Quintronics Drum Buddy, various loops and effects.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Apprentice" CD/LP/Track Review Apprentice
by Alex Franquelli
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Songs Of Life" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Of Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Of Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Ears Are Filled With Wonder" CD/LP/Track Review Ears Are Filled With Wonder
by John Sharpe
Published: August 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!