Posts Tagged ‘Nels Cline’

BEST OF 2014: J Hunter’s Best Jazz Albums, Part I

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Reviews by J Hunter

I had planned to write a lot more about new jazz this year, particularly in the last couple of months. Then I found out all it took to move a radio show from one station to another – and that’s BEFORE I had to learn how to drive the tractor-trailer! Well, anyway, I’ll try and do better next year, particularly since this year’s crop gave me over 100 CDs to consider for this list, and the stack’s already growing for 2015!

With that in mind, we’re splitting the column in two again, with the performance awards first:

Bobby Hutcherson: Enjoy The ViewLIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
BOBBY HUTCHERSONEnjoy the View (Blue Note)
Despite long-term health issues, vibes legend Bobby Hutcherson still gets around, making the occasional appearance in concert and – in this case – in his first studio recording as a leader for Blue Note since 1977. And even though Enjoy the View is more of an ensemble date than a star turn, Hutcherson’s elegance (and eloquence) is knockout beautiful on a date that has more than a whiff of Blue Note recordings from back in the day. Whether it’s on altoist David Sanborn’s grooving “Delia,” B3 master Joey DeFrancesco’s bluesy waltz “You” or Hutch’s own roaring flag-waver “Hey Harold,” Hutch brings home the goods every time. Enjoy gives us a sweet time trip, as well as one more tantalizing glimpse of one of the greats. But unlike most looks we get of legends nowadays, this music is happening now.

Arch Stanton Quarte5: Blues For SoliLOCAL HERO AWARD (CD Division):
After creating a sound on their 2012 debut Along for the Ride that nobody else in Greater Nippertown had made, the next goal for the Arch Stanton Quartet was to conjure up another set of kickass originals while avoiding Sophomore Slump. As some guy who likes to paint his feet in the bathtub nowadays might have said: Mission Accomplished. The second half of Blues for Soli says the Stanton Quartet could have made this happen without their whirlwind tour of Egypt in 2013. That said, the tone that’s set by the four monster tunes contained in the opening “Lady Egypt Suite” is about as blood-and-guts tough as you’re going to get. It’s still “garage-band jazz,” in that the ASQ is a no-frills outfit with a license to kill; however, there are layers of richness to this music that were only hinted at on Ride. What the future brings for the ASQ is anyone’s guess, but as far as I’m concerned, the guy in the bathtub said it all: “Bring it on!”



LIVE: Nels Cline & Julian Lage @ The Egg, 11/20/14

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Nels Cline and Julian Lage

Nels Cline and Julian Lage

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Bender Melon

“This is gonna be, well, what it is. It’s out of our wheelhouse. But I’m a sentimental man, and today is Duane Allman’s birthday,” Wilco guitarslinger Nels Cline admitted as he and fellow guitar great Julian Lage sat down and eased into “Little Martha” for their encore at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last month.

Unexpected? Oh yeah, but when these two fretmasters get together, it’s best to throw expectations out the window and just sit back and soak it all up, as you learned if you caught their Nippertown debut at Wilco’s 2013 Solid Sound fest at MASS MoCA.


JAZZ2K: Nels Cline & Julian Lage’s “Room”

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Julian Lage and Nels Cline (photo: Justin Camerer)

Julian Lage and Nels Cline (photo: Justin Camerer)

Room (Mack Avenue)
Realse date: Tuesday, November 25

In a 2013 interview, Nels Cline described his collaboration with Julian Lage as “200 percent power.” A cursory listen to the soon-to-be-released Room might make one wonder if there are sound files on a laptop somewhere with the Wilco uber-guitarist and the prodigy-made-amazing creating mutual screaming feedback that only the hearing-damaged could love. But once you get tuned into the subtlety and harmony throughout this mesmerizing duo date from these two guitar wizards, you realize that Room is one of the more intense projects of 2014. And the guitar duo is slated to preview the new album in concert at The Egg in Albany at 7:30pm on Thursday night (November 20).

The album’s opening track “Abstract” seems pretty straightforward. Lage lays down a simple riff that Cline works off of with remarkable restraint. A quick bit of formation flying, and the exercise is repeated… except this time, it goes from an established relationship to dueling monologues in nothing flat. The relative cacophony threatens to send the piece careening off the road and into the ditch, but Lage and Cline back together on the nominal melody line relatively quickly – only there’s an obvious edge to both players that sounds like people speaking quietly through very clenched teeth. The piece resolves as if both of them would like to leave this subject behind, but the intrigue has been hatched: If this isn’t a wail-fest, then what is this?


Parade of Shoes: Nels Cline

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Nels Cline at Outrageous Cherry

Nels Cline’s shoes while he was out in the crowd watching Outrageous Cherry in Courtyard D at Solid Sound Festival on Sunday, August 15, 2010. (Photo by Andy Gregory.)

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