323

The Nels Cline Singers: Draw Breath

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The Nels Cline Singers: Draw Breath Maybe the one-off joke is that this band's name has worn thin since their 2002 release Instrumentals (Cryptogramophone), but the flavor continues.

Recently appointed guitar god Nels Cline has been garnering attention of late as the touring (now studio) guitarist for the pop band Wilco. But for jazz fans he has been the guitarist for much of the west coast scene since the 1980s.

Draw Breath is the The Nels Cline Singers' third release following Cline's very hip New Monastery (Cryptogramophone, 2006), which covered the music of Andrew Hill. Part of that band has been the core of the Singers: bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Scott Amendola.

Perhaps the band's name should be changed to The Many Moods of Nels Cline as these tracks point in many varying directions. He composes simple, lyrical music played in drawing rooms, as well as complex guitar-shredding stadium rock anthems worthy of guitarists Sonny Sharrock or Jean-Paul Bourelly.

The opening track, "Caved-In Heart Blues, written in the Bill Frisell Americana vein, draws from the open landscapes of the West as it crests upon itself into a gentle conclusion of electronic effects.

The peace cannot be held for long as the trio tears open the guitar manual of mayhem on "Attempted, an open forum for Cline and Amendola that is held together by bassist Hoff. Neither player feels confined to linear music-making, changing direction often, yet sprinting ever onward.

The trio tears into "Confection, a tune that could have been written by indie rock band Camper Van Beethoven, before it jumps head first into the sixteen minute "An Evening At Pops'. Its quiet beginning and electronic swirl give way to a blast zone of energy not heard since Jackie Gleason ripped one of his Honeymooner tirades. Throughout, the players breakout into solo and duo sets.

Cline's mood shifts back into tranquility on the acoustic, introspective "Recognize chamber pieces. Likewise, "The Angel Of Angels is a tender ballad.

Before the trio gets to guest percussionist Glenn Kotche on the echoey effects of "Squirrel Of God, they tear into the fifteen minute "Mixed Message. Its electric speed is chilling. Again Hoff holds the fort while Cline fires his speedy technique and Amendola applies the color accents.

There is quite a bit to digest here, maybe even scare the snot out of a few Wilco fans.


Track Listing: Caved-In Heart Blues; Attempted; Confection; An Evening At Pops; The Angel Of Angels; Recognize I; Mixed Message; Recognize II; Squirrel Of God.

Personnel: Nels Cline: electric and acoustic guitars, effects, megamouth; Devin Hoff: contrabass; Scott Amendola: drums, percussion, live electronics/effects; Glenn Kotche: percussion, crotales, glockenspiel (9).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Porgy and Bess Live" CD/LP/Track Review Porgy and Bess Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "No White Shoes" CD/LP/Track Review No White Shoes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 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!