The Nels Cline Singers — The Giant Pin
(Cryptogramophone no#, 2004, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Since these initial recording dates in 2003 guitarist Nels Cline has been propelled from obscure LA sound sculptor to the indie big time with Wilco. Sifting through these older trio performances it’s obvious that Cline had a lot more melodically going on in the foreground rather than just crafted displays of semi-tortured technique. The guitarist pushes his capable rhythm section (drummer Scott Amendola and contrabassist Devin Hoff) through jazz phrasings that easily meander a Wes Montgomery stretch on the opener “Blues, Too” and later on with “Bright Moon.” On “Fly Fly” Cline demonstrates some assertive chops as Amendola adds melodic counter balance before Hoff’s bass directs the trio into industrial terrain (not unlike many of Sonic Youth’s departures). “He Still Carries a Torch for Her” and “Square King” are instrumental rock heaven with Cline’s chiming bar chords imparting a memorable lead phrase before group experimentation takes over to punishing impressive results. A few solemn moments on the disc include “The Ballad of Devin Hoff” and the closing track, “Watch over Us.” The former song initially is a mysterious duet between guitar and bass that emphasizes a low key dialog while the latter piece is the most emotive track on the disc, both sincere and precious. Overall Cline really showcases his wares across the disc and no doubt Jeff Tweedy was taking note.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more