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Album Review

Almost four years after recording their volume of the Out Trios series (Ash and Tabula: Out Trios, Vol. 3), Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, and Tom Rainey reconvened at the annual Victoriaville festival for another set in 2006. As expected with these players (and the festival), this live set is not merely a rehashing of the album; it's another improvised journey whose long form allows for more ebb and flow than the previous album. Things start slowly, building up from some looped drones, but the track starts to gain momentum about four minutes in, with Cline adopting a nice ray-gun tone for a while and Parkins offering a bit of accordion. Later, Cline switches to bass (or is that some effect?) while Parkins moves to piano before the track winds down and devolves into a slow jackhammer effect. Rainey is amazingly supportive, knowing when to push and when to lay back, and you can hear how each player moves the music into new directions while the trio acts as a cooperative unit. The second track begins with Cline beginning in a jazzier mode before it kicks into high gear about five minutes in, with Rainey in a surprisingly rock mood and Cline switching to a great snarling guitar tone. The set ends with on a more playful note with the relatively brief "Moss, Bed." Much like the festival itself, the Victo label has a reputation for exciting free improvisation, and Downpour doesn't disappoint.


Born: 1956 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Up to the mid-2000s, guitarist Nels Cline was probably best known for his work in the group Quartet Music (with brother Alex Cline, bassist Eric Von Essen, and violinist Jeff Gauthier) as well as other projects in the jazz, rock, and avant-garde idioms, and for his general involvement in the West Coast's improvisation community. However, since 2004, Cline has been a member of Wilco, which has opened up a much larger audience for the guitarist than is typical for even the most well-known of avant...
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Downpour, Nels Cline
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