February 7th, 2011
Nels Cline Singers – Nels Cline on guitar, right with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Scott Amendola, performing at the Chapel Performance Space on Saturday Jan 29th at the 2011 Is That Jazz?, Seattle’s avant-jazz music festival. Don’t let the name fool you. There is no singing with this band. “Instead, Cline creates spacious and highly textured, simultaneously beautiful and discordant instrumentals. They’re also wholly original. To an untrained ear, these jazz-inflected songs could sound like formless improvisations and bursts of noise. But amidst the sharp single-note runs and occasional feedback, there’s a lot of complexity and structure to these dynamic compositions.
Yet it’s Cline’s nimble guitar work on his Fender Jazzmaster that commands the most attention. It’s hard not to get transfixed in his spidery fingerings, or to try to parse his melodic phrasing. Joined here on keys by multi-instrumentalist (and Cibo Matto co-founder and his new bride) Yuka Honda, Cline and company performed original pieces, including a couple from their superb new double-album Initiate.” Continue reading and see clip on NPR
2011 Is That Jazz? is one of the most consistently quirky and interesting festivals around.
Thanks to Seattle photographer Michael Craft for providing coverage of the Nels Cline Singers and the second week of the 2011 Is That Jazz? festival.