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MUSICIAN Born:

Nels Cline


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." Born in Los Angeles in 1956, his earliest musical influences included Jim "Roger" McGuinn, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John Fahey and Duane Allman. Later these giants as well of those of jazz, jazz/rock, punk and the improvising avant-garde twisted his head around

Music from the Early 21st Century

Label: RareNoiseRecords
Released: 2020
Track listing: Photobomb; Paywall; Parkour; The Extreme Present; Totes; Occession; The New Weird; Machine Learning; Woke; Flash Mob.

Share The Wealth

Label: Blue Note Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Segunda; Beam/Spiral; Nightstand; Stump The Panel; Headdress; Princess Phone; The Pleather Patrol; Ashcan Treasure; A Place On The Moon; Passed Down.

An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC

Label: Astral Spirits
Released: 2020
Track listing: (CD1) Chicago: The Hanukah—Xmas March Of Truth For 12 Days Of Jingling Bells With Spirits In Chicago; The Heavenly Home Bashing Of The Bells; Noel Omega—Change Has Come For The Three Kings Who Lit The Tiny Candles In Chicago; Did You Hear They Found Light In Darkness Looking For Chestnuts? (CD2) N.Y.C.: The Hanukah—Xmas March Of Truth For 12 Days Of Jingling Bells With Spirits in NYC; Noel Omega—Change Has Come For The Three Kings Who Lit The Tiny Candles In NYC.

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020

Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Despite the circumstances, this was a high volume year for album releases, rich in both quantity and quality. Mine is not a ranked listing, but more or less in reverse chronological order. Since I wrote fewer album reviews than average, for the first time I have included several releases that I did not review myself.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Angel Bat Dawid, Fay Victor, Satoko Fujii and Clean Feed Releases

Read "Angel Bat Dawid, Fay Victor, Satoko Fujii and Clean Feed Releases" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Risk-taking singer Fay Victor's powerhouse new album for ESP-Disk is called We've Had Enough, but the title could easily be used on Angel Bat Dawid's latest as well. It reflects some rather shabby treatment on a recent our in Europe. Her album Live sees and Tha Brothahood in full bore. Other new releases sampled come from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mars Williams: An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC

Read "An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For more than a decade, Mars Williams has been making (to borrow a phrase) Christmas music great again. He does so by exchanging the saccharine for the sublime, intersecting holiday classics with the music of Albert Ayler. Born out of his Chicago Ayler repertory band which can be heard on Witches And Devils At The Empty ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In a year that will be remembered for the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, the music survived, thrived even, not on the bandstand playing for live audiences, but in the studio, socially distanced, in many cases collaborating from afar with swapped sound files. Musicians with time on their hands were especially inspired. These are the 2020 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Nels Cline Singers: Share The Wealth

Read "Share The Wealth" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Guitarist Nels Cline has led the Nels Cline Singers since 2002. While they have sometimes had guest performers on their recordings, the core band has been a trio of Cline, drummer Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn (originally Devin Hoff). This album expands the group to a sextet with the addition of saxophonist Skerik, keyboardist Brian ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Something Blue

Read "Something Blue" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

For the last of our four-episode examination of discs we missed from various best of 2010's lists (and that's almost, but not quite, rapping, isn't it?) it's all about “something blue." Or, in this case, something Blue Note. One entry on Avant sneaks in on the basis of its title, so at least it's not a ...


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Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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