Exposé Online banner

Nels Cline — New Monastery: A View into the Music of Andrew Hill
(Cryptogramophone CG130, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01

New Monastery: A View into the Music of Andrew Hill  Cover art

Nels Cline’s affinity for pummeling sound boundaries as well as working within jam bands and standard song structures (e.g. – Wilco) is now further realized within the works of another jazz composer. “A view to the music of Andrew Hill,” as the subtitle reads, gives honor to an icon of jazz piano with arrangements that purposely stray off any charts. Members of the Nels Cline Singers (sans vocal), including contrabassist Devon Hoff and drummer Scott Amendola, ground the sessions in a spirited jaunt through the composer’s catalogue. Clarinetist Ben Goldberg is the ace soloist across the disc. Starting with his unison then counterpoint playing on the opening cut “McNeil Island,” it’s clear that his role as improviser adds much weight to the recordings. Trumpet player Bobby Bradford veers closer to Dave Douglas’s means for jointly carrying many of the pieces through some volatile improv sections. Cline’s arrangements of the original material are open ended, allowing a lot of individual contributions from the ensemble, making it clearly a band recording rather than just charts and jams between old friends. Cline’s guitar playing itself combines a comping style similar to rhythm jazz masters while his abrasive roughshod dynamics encompass a method similar to what Henry Kaiser or Fred Frith would employ. Cline’s brother Alex contributes additional percussion on two of the tracks, adding weight to the project. Overall it’s an educated hats-off to a lesser known jazz great who recently passed and is only now getting his due.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Scott Amendola, Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, Alex Cline

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Art of All - Morgan – The Art of All is a young band (Peter Aliferis drums and keyboards, Ruben Ruiz vocals and guitar, and Chris Debari bass) based in Massachusetts who characterize themselves as a progressive trance...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues