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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Drummer Jim Black, guitarist Nels Cline, and saxophonist Tim Berne all have impressive jazz pedigrees, but they are no strangers to rock and rock-influenced improv. (Cline, of course, is the lead guitarist for Wilco.) The trio’s 2011 release, The Veil, recorded live at The Stone in New York, is essentially one long improvisation (divided for this release into titled tracks). The opening section, “Railroaded,” comes charging out of the gate with hard-hit drums, blaring sax, and aggro guitar which can evoke the harder side of King Crimson. “Momento,” on the other hand, is an edgy slice of ambient marked by Cline’s spacey guitar effects and Black’s laptop textures. “The Barbarella Syndrome” finds Cline unleashing dazzling jazz runs and wilder sounds. The masterfully choppy drums keep things off-kilter, and Berne’s speedy lines contribute to the gnarly thicket. By comparison, “Dawn of the Lawn” is quiet, but it’s dark stuff that’s far from mellow. “Tiny Moment, Pt. 1” features nice solo work from Berne played against Cline and Black’s grim backdrop. “Tiny Moment, Pt. 2” wraps things up with sustained atmospherics that build to a dramatic peak before simmering back down.

Customer Reviews

Nels & Jim, yes please!

Buy this immediately and without hesitation. Prepare you face for total meltdown.

review the review

Yes, amazing. I am a big Nels fan. I bet the guy who resent an old album review already cashed itunes check. Are you guys hiring?

Top form from everyone

Nels Cline and Tim Berne have brought amazing things out of each other since they were playing on Tim's self-produced albums back in the the day. The energy is amazing -- Jim Black is a monster -- and there's a type of beauty here that any fan of "Theoretically" (Berne/Frisell duet), or "Fulton Street Maul" will recognize. Best album of the year, and the next one is another Tim Berne rec, "Insomnia".


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...
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