Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Glenn Astarita
Glaring expressionism coupled with rip-roaring layers of acoustic-electric sound-sculpting maneuvers yield the bountiful fruit on this manifold studio date. When guitarist Nels Cline isn't tearing it up with the popular alt-rock band Wilco, he's knee-deep in progressive-jazz, free-form experimental and jazz-rock formats. He's catapulted to the upper echelon of modern guitarists, paralleling the colossal faculties of bassist William Parker and pianist Thollem McDonas.
Parker has been a perennial driving force behind the reshaping of jazz along with the improvisational paradigms that follow, and generates a propulsive yet, at times, pensive undertow on the sixteen-minute "Lives." As McDonas kicks it off with a loosely organized series of trickling ethereal notes, insinuating a spiritual perimeter of sorts.
The artists align their wares via a feeling out process, energized by Cline's note-bending exercises and strings scraping techniques, leading to a spiraling improvisational fest, designed with overlapping statements and intense three-way conversations. Lucid imagery remains a continuum as the trio's linear onslaughts intimate harrowing backdrops, abetted by Parker's creaky and ominously designed phrasings ... read more...
Personnel: Nels Cline (electric guitar); Thollem McDonas (piano).
Audio Mixer: Peter Karl.
Recording information: Peter Karl Studios (01/03/2012).
Photographers: Cork Marcheschi; Angela C. Villa.