Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche

Nels Cline(Nels Cline Singers, Wilco) and Glenn Kotche( Wilco) are playing a show at the Doug Fir Lounge this Saturday for $12. I've seen Nels Cline live before and he is one of the most extraordinary avant garde jazz guitarists playing nowadays. During his performances, he displays a skill and dexterity in playing incendiary guitar solos so fast that it makes the listener's head swim. His diverse recording endeavours include projects with the Nels Cline Singers(instrumental), Wilco, Scott Amendola Group, Vinny Golia, Thurston Moore, Charlie Haden, Willie Nelson and Carla Bozulich. He is well versed in punk, noise, free jazz, country, traditional jazz and just about any other style that he attempts. I am most familiar with the Nels Cline Singers album called Instrumentals which is a barnstormer of an album blending noise, blues, free jazz, ambient and acoustic music. Nels describes the album as “powerjazzrockfreepsychedelicate instrumental music.”

For what it's worth, my favorite track on the record is called Lowered Boom. This track begins with a distorted electronic percussion loop layered underneath a rumbling bassline which perfectly sets the tone for Cline's dazzling guitar solos. Around the two minute mark, the drums kick the song into overdrive and Nels really goes for broke with a complex and dissonant solo where he seems to be channeling Jimi Hendrix and Lou Reed simultaneously. The skill and dexterity with which he plays the guitar is unparalleled in today's musical climate.

His latest record New Monastery was released on Cyrptogramophone records in 2006. It is Nels' interpretation of compositions created by renowned jazz pianist Andrew Hill. I have posted a review of this record from All Music Guide to give you more of an idea of what it sounds like. Hope you enjoy the tracks!

Nels Cline Singers- Lowered Boom
From: Instrumentals [Cryptogramophone, 2002]

Nels Cline- Not Sa No Sa
From: New Monastery [Cryptogramophone, 2006]

Glenn Kotche is best known for his drumming in the ultra-famous alt-country group Wilco, but he also assumes drumming duties for Loose Fur, On Fillmore, The Fred Lonberg-Holm Quartet and The Minus Five. If this wasn't enough, he also creates drum improvisations using hubcaps and found objects as well as building his own percussion instruments. His latest recording entitled Mobile was released on Nonesuch Records in 2006. Kotche composes and plays everything except for the opener Clapping Music Variations which is based on Steve Reich's composition entitled Clapping Music. He demonstrates his versatility by playing cymbals, vibes, marimbas, kalimbas and tom toms to create a very compelling and eclectic recording. I hope you enjoy the music!
Glenn Kotche- Monkey Chant and Individual Trains
From: Mobile [Nonesuch, 2006]


dok said…
I'm really enjoying those Nels Clines tracks. Thanks.
Kevin said…
I'm glad that you are digging the Nels Cline stuff. I just went to see him and Glenn Kotche at the Doug Fir in Portland last week. His live set was more knob twiddlng and experimental noise than the hyper-speed guitar riffing and soloing that he's known for. All in all it was a great show though, and Glenn Kotche put on a fantastic show with a huge drum set featuring gongs, congas, kalimbas, cymbals and any other exotic percussion instrument that you can think of.

Take care, Kevin

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