Published Apr 02, 2014To say that Nels Cline (guitar), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Scott Amendola (drums) hit the rock floor running with this release would be an understatement. Let's face it — the band have chops to burn.
That being said, what makes this more than inspired wanking is the emotional arc that Cline and co. seem to be able to maintain on a large segment of these tracks. His affinity for the Brazilian tip on "Respira," ably accompanied by Cyro Baptista on percussion, layers a dreamy vocal and guitar rubato over a spirited groove that speaks to ground broken by Egberto Gismonti.
Cline also displays a solid understanding of how to incorporate his array of guitar noise generators into his songwriting, layering air bursts over tight focused grooves, yet leaving some opportunity on "Sacha's Book of Frogs" for some abstract call and response.
This is as much of a slab of guitar Americana as anything Frisell has produced, but takes things less from the Midwest than from SoCal and possibly NYC. (Mack Avenue Records)