Initiate Release Day

Posted by: admin on April 13, 2010 @ 8:50 am
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Nels Cline (News)

It’s no secret that Nels Cline is one of my favorite guitar players. I’ve been a Wilco fan since I was in high school, and exploring his catalog after he joined that band was an ear-opening experience to say the least.

So, today, a hearty congratulations on the release of his seventh record as a leader, Initiate.

Initiate

And what a killer record. Check out some streams from the record on the right sidebar player — “Floored” is a great starting point, a burner of a tune somewhere between a Hendrix power-trio instrumental, and one of those McLaughlin jams on the Tribute to Jack Johnson box. But there is plenty more than these rocked-out jams. There are quieter moments, and texture pieces, too — all in true Nels fashion of course. And the Singers — Scott Amendola and Devin Hoff — are in top form throughout.

Over at the Greenleaf webstore, we have the digital albums — it’s a double-disc, one studio and one live album — up for sale. Our friends at Cryptogramophone put this one out, along with the past Singers and Nels solo albums. You have the option to purchase the MP3 or FLAC files with full artwork on their own, or you can bundle up Initiate with the full Nels Cline discography, the full Nels Cline Singers catalog, or with the recently released Stained Radiance DVD that Greenleaf released in February.

Happy listening.

5 Comments

Stained Radiance Released

Posted by: admin on January 26, 2010 @ 10:38 am
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Greenleaf Music News

Thanks to all who have preordered their copy of this DVD. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have been these past couple weeks. Such a spectacle to watch and hear. Watch the trailer for Stained Radiance.

Today is the official release day. So at days end our celebratory sale on all Nels Cline Cyptogramophone albums will be taken down. Act now and get all of those great records for $7 (MP3s @ 320kbps) or $9 (lossless FLACs).

Be sure to make it out to the record release show a week from today.

Tuesday, 02-02 | Long Beach, CA | DiPiazza
Nels Cline + Norton Wisdom

I also came across a clip of another live performance from this duo the other day…

Awesome.

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Stained Radiance DVD – Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom

Posted by: admin on January 13, 2010 @ 2:51 pm
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Greenleaf Music News

Guitarist Nels Cline and ar Norton Wisdom, both masters of their medium, joined together last year for an afternoon of sonic and visual improvisation caught on film by Aeght Nign. Armed with his guitar and effects, Cline constructs lush soundscapes brought about by Wisdom’s brush-stroke spontaneity. Wisdom in turn follows Cline’s auditory twists creating and recreating the same canvas.

Two mesmerizing performances are included on the DVD along with special features like the Norton Headcam, and a behind-the-scenes look into the sessions.

Preorder the DVD at our store.

Stained Radiance – Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom from Greenleaf Music.

Also, all Nels Cline albums are on sale for 30% off during the Stained Radiance preorder. Links below.

Photobucket
Coward Draw Breath New Monestary
Giant Pin Instrumentals The Inkling

3 Comments

Stained Radiance DVD – Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom

Posted by: admin on @ 2:51 pm
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Greenleaf Music News

Guitarist Nels Cline and ar Norton Wisdom, both masters of their medium, joined together last year for an afternoon of sonic and visual improvisation caught on film by Aeght Nign. Armed with his guitar and effects, Cline constructs lush soundscapes brought about by Wisdom’s brush-stroke spontaneity. Wisdom in turn follows Cline’s auditory twists creating and recreating the same canvas.

Two mesmerizing performances are included on the DVD along with special features like the Norton Headcam, and a behind-the-scenes look into the sessions.

Preorder the DVD at our store.

Stained Radiance – Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom from Greenleaf Music.

Also, all Nels Cline albums are on sale for 30% off during the Stained Radiance preorder. Links below.

Photobucket
Coward Draw Breath New Monestary
Giant Pin Instrumentals The Inkling

3 Comments

Two more BE shows, Cali

Posted by: admin on September 3, 2009 @ 2:46 pm
Filed under: Brass Ecstasy, Cryptogramophone, Dave Douglas (News), Events

Thanks to everyone who came out to the BE show at Yoshi’s last night. You can read a review via the Jazz Observer here.

Tonight, Brass Ecstasy hits the Arcata Theatre. Tickets available here. This is one of the final Brass Ecstasy performances of the year and one not to be missed. Check out the Times-Standard concert preview here.

A special thanks to our friends (and Greenleaf subscribers) at the Redwood Jazz Alliance for their help bringing this music to Arcata.

The band hits the Angel City Festival on Sunday. As we mentioned in our email blast earlier this week, we’ll be hanging with our Crypto-friends at our booth in Edison Plaza. Stop by and say hi before or after the show.

1 Comment

RE: Nels Cline, Coward

Posted by: admin on February 10, 2009 @ 10:21 am
Filed under: Cryptogramophone

Below is an excerpt from Nels Cline’s extended notes on his new record Coward.

“Coward” is meant to be a journey, bookended by minimal drone pieces named after infrequently-blooming flowers, and, in between, taking you on a trip – sometimes a wry, whimsical, or solemn one – through this string of references, of inside jokes, and of tributes to friends, artists, and to pools of feeling that are at once personal and (with any luck) universal, pertaining to love, alienation, things sublime and perverse…

Click HERE to read the full notes.

And be sure to check out Nate Chinen’s review of Coward at nytimes.com.

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Nels Cline, Coward

Posted by: admin on February 9, 2009 @ 3:21 pm
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Greenleaf Music News, Music

A few months back, when our friends at Cryptogramophone were blogging in DD’s absence, we posted a preview of the two new Cline brothers albums. This afternoon, we added the first of these new releases — Nels Cline’s, Coward — to our webstore. The album is available in MP3 and FLAC formats.

I’ve been listening to Coward all afternoon today, and I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying it. The “surprising acoustic sensibility” Crypto mentions in the Press Release is right on. But there are certainly enough electric elements throughout. Each piece is sonically meticulous as I thought it would be, and of course the playing is top-notch. I’m reminded a lot of later John Fahey albums (check out Sea Changes & Coelacanths if you’re unfamiliar). Fahey, like Nels, happens to be one of my favorite guitar players of all time. This title gets my highest recommendation. And I’m sure Alex’s new record, Continuation, will be no different. Updates to follow on the morrow.

Check out samples of Coward by clicking HERE.

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Here's The Keys…

Posted by: Matthew Duersten on November 17, 2008 @ 12:33 pm
Filed under: Cryptogramophone

Wow, is it over already? Four weeks? Man, it just fleeeew by. Welcome back, dawg! OK, so here’s the skinny on what went down while you were gone (oh, did I mention your bronze-like tan would put George Hamilton to shame?). The furnace guy came and tinkered around in the basement for three hours before realizing he was in the wrong house (the bill is on the large pile of mail on the dining room table). We were quite confused by your complicated TV/DVD/Satellite set up; the annotated list of directions were helpful, but unfortunately we erased all of your Tivoed episodes of “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” and quite possibly launched missiles in Nebraska. We hosted a small dinner party, marred slightly by the fact that one of the drunken guests used your cake-icing tube for. . .well, we’d rather not get into it. Your dog ran off, (but periodically returns to leave an organic “gift” on the front walk) your pool furniture is fulfulling its destiny by being actually in the pool, and someone severed your sprinkler hose. (We apologize for the smell, but it was here when we moved in. Really.) Oh, and remember Chuck, your crotchety but loveable groundskeeper who was like a member of your extended family and dispensed his homespun wisdom like grampa once did when he bounced you on his knee? He’s dead.

Seriously though, we’d like to thank you peeps at Greenleaf Music for allowing us to move in and blog about our Left Coast scene.

One has to hang on to a sort of skewed sense of humor when one follows jazz and its experimental tendrils here in the SoCal desert (where nothing grows, and the stuff that does has to be gnarled and full of spines to survive). Lately, since approximately 2006, it seems things have been particularly grim as the attention to this music and its accompanying supportive infrastructure has lessened to an all time low drip — it’s as if jazz might blow out like a doused flame if the wind blows too hard. (As we are writing this, we are being surrounded by brush fires. Yay!) This tone was summed up quite well last week by the L.A. Weekly’s lone jazz writer, Brick Wahl, in a preview for a Jesse Sharps show at the Jazz Bakery:

So good to see the great tradition of Leimert Park jazz alive and kicking. Bit of a shame, though, it has to do its lively kicking out in Culver City, a long way from Degnan Avenue. Or that Sharps has to come all the way from Germany to get the ball rolling. Leimert Park is probably this town‚s last living jazz neighborhood. Central Avenue is but a memory brought brilliantly to life once a year at its jazz festival, and the downtown and Little Tokyo scenes exist only in fond memories and some books. The older days are utterly gone, no memory, no history, no names, nothing. But Leimert Park is still here, charming and lovely and full of life. Now the music of Horace Tapscott echoes over at the Bakery while the spirit of Billy Higgins inhabits a too-often-empty World Stage. So sad. Perhaps some of our local politicians whose election posters still grace the walls around there will deign to take notice. Or perhaps not. Jazz is a hard-luck story, no matter who wins elections.

We now move our tentpoles back to Downbeast. We plan to return the favor to the Greenleaf Boys (not to be confused with the obscure 1940s bluegrass duo The Greenblatt Boys) sometime in December/January by inviting Dave & Co. over to Downbeast for some more blogroll-buddy cross-pollination. (Yes. We. Can.)

Downbeast Out! (kiss noise, door shutting)

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Here’s The Keys…

Posted by: admin on @ 12:33 pm
Filed under: Cryptogramophone

Wow, is it over already? Four weeks? Man, it just fleeeew by. Welcome back, dawg! OK, so here’s the skinny on what went down while you were gone (oh, did I mention your bronze-like tan would put George Hamilton to shame?). The furnace guy came and tinkered around in the basement for three hours before realizing he was in the wrong house (the bill is on the large pile of mail on the dining room table). We were quite confused by your complicated TV/DVD/Satellite set up; the annotated list of directions were helpful, but unfortunately we erased all of your Tivoed episodes of “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” and quite possibly launched missiles in Nebraska. We hosted a small dinner party, marred slightly by the fact that one of the drunken guests used your cake-icing tube for. . .well, we’d rather not get into it. Your dog ran off, (but periodically returns to leave an organic “gift” on the front walk) your pool furniture is fulfulling its destiny by being actually in the pool, and someone severed your sprinkler hose. (We apologize for the smell, but it was here when we moved in. Really.) Oh, and remember Chuck, your crotchety but loveable groundskeeper who was like a member of your extended family and dispensed his homespun wisdom like grampa once did when he bounced you on his knee? He’s dead.

Seriously though, we’d like to thank you peeps at Greenleaf Music for allowing us to move in and blog about our Left Coast scene.

One has to hang on to a sort of skewed sense of humor when one follows jazz and its experimental tendrils here in the SoCal desert (where nothing grows, and the stuff that does has to be gnarled and full of spines to survive). Lately, since approximately 2006, it seems things have been particularly grim as the attention to this music and its accompanying supportive infrastructure has lessened to an all time low drip — it’s as if jazz might blow out like a doused flame if the wind blows too hard. (As we are writing this, we are being surrounded by brush fires. Yay!) This tone was summed up quite well last week by the L.A. Weekly’s lone jazz writer, Brick Wahl, in a preview for a Jesse Sharps show at the Jazz Bakery:

So good to see the great tradition of Leimert Park jazz alive and kicking. Bit of a shame, though, it has to do its lively kicking out in Culver City, a long way from Degnan Avenue. Or that Sharps has to come all the way from Germany to get the ball rolling. Leimert Park is probably this town‚s last living jazz neighborhood. Central Avenue is but a memory brought brilliantly to life once a year at its jazz festival, and the downtown and Little Tokyo scenes exist only in fond memories and some books. The older days are utterly gone, no memory, no history, no names, nothing. But Leimert Park is still here, charming and lovely and full of life. Now the music of Horace Tapscott echoes over at the Bakery while the spirit of Billy Higgins inhabits a too-often-empty World Stage. So sad. Perhaps some of our local politicians whose election posters still grace the walls around there will deign to take notice. Or perhaps not. Jazz is a hard-luck story, no matter who wins elections.

We now move our tentpoles back to Downbeast. We plan to return the favor to the Greenleaf Boys (not to be confused with the obscure 1940s bluegrass duo The Greenblatt Boys) sometime in December/January by inviting Dave & Co. over to Downbeast for some more blogroll-buddy cross-pollination. (Yes. We. Can.)

Downbeast Out! (kiss noise, door shutting)

No Comments

REMEMBERING AN INITIATOR OF A REVOLUTION: MITCH MITCHELL

Posted by: alex on November 14, 2008 @ 8:51 am
Filed under: Cryptogramophone, Music

As I lay down to go to sleep on the night of Tuesday, November 11, for some reason I found my thoughts turning to my first real drum hero and one of my musical life’s biggest influences, Mitch Mitchell. As I lay there, I began a mental survey of his work, from the early recordings with the Jimi Hendrix Experience through Hendrix’s last official album recorded what seemed like a long time later but which was in fact only a few years later, The Cry of Love. My concentrated overview, pondering Mitch’s trademark early style–prodigious technique, distinctive touch, beautiful sound, swinging feel, fire, crisp articulation, and strong musical contributions to Hendrix’s visionary musical innovations–and later work–more slack, somewhat more tired feel, more slack tuning, yet still strongly contributory and irreplaceably integral to the music that Hendrix was then making–triggered indelible memories, powerful associations, deep appreciation, and pure awe. It also caused me to wonder if he still played. I knew he endorsed DW drums, but I had no idea what he was doing. I wondered what he might sound like now, so many years later. I considered his distinction as the only surviving member of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. I also wondered why on earth I was spending so much time lying there engaged in such a thorough analysis of Mitch Mitchell’s music making and its overwhelming influence on my own life and music as a drummer. Then I fell asleep, forgetting all about it.

I learned the following afternoon that Mitch Mitchell had died. I was stunned. At 62 years of age, he was only ten years older than I. And he was on tour; he was playing. Then I suddenly remembered my thoughts of the previous night. It was chilling. It was also extremely sad. Not only had another of my strongest drumming influences passed out of manifestation, the one who in many ways was the source of the trajectory of all the drummers to follow was gone. My reverie turned to mourning.

My brother Nels and I were eleven years old when we first heard what we immediately, after having eyed the compelling cover of their first album, knew had to be the Jimi Hendrix Experience. We were listening to Top 40 AM radio one afternoon, which was then beginning to experiment with playing album tracks, when the song “Manic Depression” came on. We were stunned, transfixed. We couldn’t even figure out how most of the sounds were even being made–that eerie, wailing guitar, that drum part (a waltz!) with all those cool fills–yet the impact of the music itself was immediate and ultimately transformational. It was so powerful that it was almost like hearing music for the first time. It was a revolution in our midst. We were never the same after that, and we knew it. As soon as we had the necessary dollars saved from our allowance, we went out and purchased the album, Are You Experienced? It was one of our musical life’s most important milestones. Besides the visceral yet other-worldly guitar virtuosity, there was the drumming. It was dazzling, driving, fluid, solid, intense. At the time I didn’t recognize that Mitch’s approach was essentially that of a master jazz drummer playing cutting-edge rock. Just listen to “Third Stone from the Sun”! I had no idea how he was doing what he was doing, but what I did know was that it was what I myself wanted to be able to do.

As instant Hendrix fanatics, we ardently followed all the subsequent recordings and developments. The music certainly doesn’t need to be reviewed at this point, but some of the truly memorable and outstanding examples of Mitch’s drumming that I’d like to mention in this moment are the driving groove that exemplifies the title of the tune on which it is heard, “Fire”; the already mentioned “Third Stone from the Sun,” where Mitch seems to be pushing a crazy cosmic big band with his flurries of swinging accents and free-form waves of toms and snare; the free jazz/noise insanity of “I Don’t Live Today”; the deep pocket-cum-free-against-the-time soling on “If 6 Was 9” (and where he seems to drop a drumstick in the middle of a furious phrase, ending it midstream); the amazingly swinging, pure jazz brushwork on “Up from the Skies”; the furiously blazing bashing on the otherwise totally silly Noel Redding tune “She’s So Fine”; the glorious flanger-heavy close of “Bold as Love” (which I honestly felt at the time was sort of the most ultimately perfect, heavenly musical moment I’d heard till then; I used to play it over and over); the astounding solo on, of all things, a slow blues (!), certainly one of the most amazing slow blues jams of all time, “Voodoo Chile”; and the slushy, wonderful slow backing for the moving “Angel” from Hendrix’s last album. These are only few standouts in a catalog of consistently stellar performances, as most people already know. Everything Mitch recorded, which sounded so fresh and remarkable at the time it was waxed, still sounds absolutely astounding today. Adding to the astonishment is the fact that when he started making this music he was only 19 years old! I don’t think I ever realized the weight of this until now. It’s almost a Tony Williams scenario! I certainly never sounded anything close to that good when I was that age! Mitch was a phenomenon.

Mitch was my favorite drummer when I was a kid, and his busy, jazz-drenched rock style led to my enthusiasm for drummers charting similar territory who came shortly thereafter: Clive Bunker with Jethro Tull and Michael Giles in the first King Crimson band. Later in my life I realized how this foundation helped lead me straight into the world of jazz drumming that would become my area of endeavor once I was about16 years old (and after Hendrix died). Mitch Mitchell not only set me up for my next major, life-altering drumming encounter to follow, which was my hearing Tony Williams for the first time, but he made my appreciation for every major influence to come possible, from Elvin Jones to Jack De Johnette to Roy Haynes to Sonship Theus to Tony Oxley to Pierre Favre and so on down the line. While my earliest drumming experiences were that of playing Charlie Watts parts to old Rolling Stones records at my friend (and young drum prodigy) Pat Pile’s house, it was Mitch who opened my ears and mind to what drumming could be in the hands of a more complex and flashy master. Mitch and the Hendrix Experience totally changed my life.

So today I remember with deep gratitude, reverence, and love a brilliant artist whom I never met but who profoundly shaped the course of my life as a drummer and musician and who still inspires me now. To me, Mitch Mitchell is not just a fine drummer, not just a big influence on me, he is someone who deservedly resides in the pantheon of the greatest, most important drummers/musicians of all time. Thank you, Mitch. I pray that I may in some way be your continuation.

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