CD: Nels Cline

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Nels Cline, Coward (Cryptogramophone). Hall and Frisell have impressed Cline. Jimmy Hendrix and John Abercrombie also seem to be in his DNA. Here, Cline is alone with his influences, his guitars, an arsenal of electronics and his startling originality. Despite his searching edginess, the CD is curiously relaxing. The high point is an extended piece called “Rod Poole’s Gradual Ascent to Heaven,” in which Cline builds a monument to a murdered fellow guitarist.

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