MILES OF TRANE: YES! This is my current favorite album ever, that's how much I love this effort by one of the most versatile guitarist working. If you knew, would you dare list the influences of a man who has appeared on over 150 albums? Nels Cline joined Wilco in 2004 but has continued side projects, one of them the Nels Cline Singers, which you may know has no singers. Elements of free jazz, fusion, rock, avant-garde, ambient, experimental, noise, and God know what else combine to make the listening experience ethereal and transcendental. Opening and closing studio-recorded Disk 1 with a Micheal Stearns like textural work, moving effortlessly to flavors of Robert Fripp's loops and electronics and Steve Howe's flurry and excitement, all while maintaining the steady hand of a Bill Frisell, Nels Cline's genius permeates the album without begging any of these comparisons. Disk 2 is a live CD, and bizarre as it may sound I've not had the will to really listen to it yet. Disk 1 is so good that I can't bear the thought of it not being a complete work in itself. If the second disk is this good then I have an extra distraction in life, and if for some reason I'm disappointed, Disk 1 is enough to save the whole album. So, logically, I'm not sure I can justify a listen to the other disk, even though we all know I will. Right after I devour Cline's 1999 interpretation of John Coltrane's Interstellar Space. How dare he cover the greatest soul to ever make jazz? I'm predicting my answer will be 'by being as good as Nels Cline.'
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: The Nels Cline Singers: Initiate 7.2/10.0
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