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Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows

Read "Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows" reviewed by John Kelman

Despite being a key participant in the “Left Coast" scene of more avant-leaning music from the American west coast--in particular, part of the Cryptogramophone imprint that, while less active than in its “glory days" during the first years of the new millennium--Alex Cline releases so infrequently as a leader that any new music from the percussionist/composer is worthy of attention. That he has flown so far under the radar, in recent years, that his last Cryptogramophone release, 2013's For People ...

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The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

Read "Open Source" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Open Source would have made a good alternative name for violinist Jeff Gauthier's ensemble, as it draws inspiration from myriad sources. Goatette continues its near twenty-year journey into territory ranging from avant-garde and sci-fi soundscapes, and deep funk grooves colored by searing electric guitar, to an altogether more pastoral melodicism reminiscent of the Mahavishnu Orchestra at its most serene. Now a sextet with the addition of trumpeter John Fumo, the widely traveled musician steers a course between post-bop and electric ...

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The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

Read "Open Source" reviewed by John Kelman

When two-thirds of a group has “effects" in their instrumental credits, it's a safe bet this ain't your granddaddy's jazz. When it's violinist Jeff Gauthier's Goatette, punctuating the quirky theme in the first moments of “40 Lashes (With Mascara)" with thundering drums and high-octane power chords, it's clear that Open Source is going to make plenty of demands--and not just on the musicians who play it. Any group featuring the intrepid Cline twins--guitarist Nels and drummer Alex--is ...

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Tim Berne / Jim Black / Nels Cline: The Veil

Read "The Veil" reviewed by Troy Collins

Recorded live at The Stone in New York City on a sweltering July evening in 2009, The Veil is the debut of BB&C (also known as The Sons of Champignon), an acronym for alto saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Jim Black and guitarist Nels Cline--veteran improvisers with a long history of collaboration. Cline first recorded with Berne in the early '80s, while Black was a member of Berne's revered '90s era Bloodcount quartet. Unfolding as a single uninterrupted long-form improvisation and ...

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Nels Cline: Dirty Baby

Read "Dirty Baby" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Those not hearing Nels Cline's music lately just aren't listening. Besides gracing rock band Wilco's albums and live shows, he seems to be the hottest jazz/improv guitarist of late. Right on the heels of his two-disc Initiate (Cryptogramophone, 2010)--maybe the jazz record of the year--he drops another double set, Dirty Baby, which is part of an art book, published by Delmonico Books Prestel, that re-contextualizes 66 works by artist Ed Ruscha with music and spoken word. These two CDs have ...

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The Nels Cline Singers: Initiate

Read "Initiate" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The release of the Nels Cline Singers 2-disc Initiate, a two hour-and-fifteen minute behemoth of sound, calls to mind a similar effort of 30 years ago, entitled Sandinista! (Epic, 1980) by the influential punk band turned prophets, The Clash. Like Mick Jones and Joe Strummer's 3-LP project, Cline's vision is too big to be encapsulated into a single genre or sound-byte blurb.

The guitarist Nels Cline, now famous as 'the sound' behind the rock band Wilco, was a ...

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The Nels Cline Singers: Initiate

Read "Initiate" reviewed by Troy Collins

Called “The World's Most Dangerous Guitarist" by Jazz Times and named one of twenty “Guitar Gods" by Rolling Stone, Nels Cline's profile has expanded considerably since his collaborations with underground personalities like Thurston Moore and Mike Watt and recruitment by Wilco in 2004. Cline's roots in the West Coast jazz scene pre-date his newfound mainstream recognition however, dating back to the mid-1970s.

Initiate is the fourth release from The Nels Cline Singers, Cline's versatile ten-year old power trio ...

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Nels Cline: Coward

Read "Coward" reviewed by Stuart Broomer

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 ...

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Alex Cline: Continuation

Read "Continuation" reviewed by Troy Collins

Twin brother of guitarist Nels Cline, percussionist Alex Cline has often been portrayed as the quieter half, with his introspective leanings serving as the delicate yin to Nels' assertive yang. Cross-cultural metaphors aside, Alex's discography is filled with allusions to his longstanding interest in Eastern spirituality.

Fittingly, Cline's albums often exude an air of introspective tranquility--an aesthetic focus that contrasts with his brother's more omnivorous approach. Less prolific than his sibling, Continuation is Cline's eighth album as a ...

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Nels Cline: Coward

Read "Coward" reviewed by Troy Collins

Since being recruited by Wilco in 2004, guitarist Nels Cline has enjoyed a level of notoriety previously unimaginable for an avant-garde instrumentalist. Cline's career actually dates back to the late seventies, when seminal efforts with his twin brother percussionist Alex Cline, multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia and bassist Eric von Essen cemented his reputation as a figurehead of the West Coast underground creative music scene.

Traversing multiple scenes, he has enjoyed a diverse career as a sideman to fellow iconoclasts ...

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Alex Cline: Continuation

Read "Continuation" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been a long time since percussionist/composer Alex Cline last released an album under his own name. 1999's Sparks Fly Upward and 2001's The Constant Flame (both on Cryptogramophone), culminated his evolving Alex Cline Ensemble, combining measured spontaneity with long-form writing that, in its near-classical approach to compositional development, was a unique confluence of form and freedom. Continuation represents two significant changes for Cline: first, it's a far more overtly improvisational disc than his Ensemble records, even as Cline's predilection ...

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Nels Cline: Coward

Read "Coward" reviewed by John Kelman

Watching guitarist Nels Cline attack his electric axe with an egg whisker at his 2005 International Festival Musique Actuelle Victoriaville performance helps explain the perennial question of how he does what he does, though no single performance sheds a strong enough spotlight on the chameleon-like guitarist's skill. Even when all the guitars and effects used on Coward--Cline's first solo guitar album in his 30-plus year career--are documented, there's still the nagging feeling that even that degree of detail doesn't tell ...


40 Years Of The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal

The Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th edition this year with some outstanding presentations scheduled at various venues around the city. Running from June 27 to July 6, this year's festival includes both indoor and outdoor events, free and ticketed events, with a program that includes Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Scott, Richard Galliano, Stacy Kent, Joshua Redman, John Pizzarelli, Keyon Harrold, Gilad Hekselman, Roberto Fonseca, Donny McCaslin and more.

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