NELS (RE)CLINE…Nels Cline: Lovers

Debuting on Blue Note Records, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline is no stranger to jazz, having teamed up with Julian Lage for some intriguing sounds. Here, Cline hits the ground running, as we’ve got two discs, with the guitarist doubling down on eighteen, count ‘em 18 pieces of “mood music.”

A full orchestra including strings and woodwinds is arranged and conducted by Michael Leonhart, and while Cline still intermittently veers into electronic abstraction, most of the material focuses on melody, lyricism and textures. He handles with aplomb  standard pieces like “Glad To Be Unhappy,” “Why Was I Born?” and “Beautiful Love,” allowing the theme to do the work. More artsy pieces such as Jimmy Giuffre’s “Cry, Want” and Gabor Szabo’s “Lady Gabor” are intriguing in their mixture of guitar and reflection. His own “Introduction/Diaphanous” and “The Bed We Made” combine deep harmonies and textures, and even when the pieces go a little outside the lines, the mood keeps everything intact. Well thought out and delivered.

Blue Note Records

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