Most widely known as Wilco's lead guitarist, Nels Cline leads a double life as an avant-garde guitar monster who breeds ceaselessly inventive music that wanders among jazz, rock, and the experimental fringes, earning comparisons to both Coltrane and Hendrix while pursuing his own idiosyncratic muse. Constantly juggling dozens of projects, Cline has worked with a broad spectrum of musicians, from Julius Hemphill and Charlie Haden to Thurston Moore and Mike Watt. His ironically dubbed Singers is an all-instrumental trio with drummer Scott Amendola and contrabassist Devin Hoff. Their latest, last summer's Draw Breath (Cryptogramophone), is a wide-ranging mix of glorious sonic exploration, from folk-like acoustic ballads to Hendrixian rock escapades, 21st-century bop and blazing improvisational blitzes that flirt with metal and a sci-fi trajectory of spatial oddities, noisy black holes and swirling electronic novas. Cline, incidentally, also figures prominently on former Quartet Music bandmate and violinist Jeff Gauthier's forthcoming House of Return, contributing "Satellites and Sideburns," a brilliantly evocative tribute to late Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul.
Sun., June 1, 2008