The Nels Cline Singers
The Nels Cline Singers are a trio of avant-assassins led by guitarist Nels Cline. Formed in 2001, The Singers have released 4 albums on Cryptogramophone that combine wide-ranging compositions with group improvisations, and run the gamut between delicate lyricism, and skull-crunching flights of fancy. Since joining the critically acclaimed rock group Wilco in 2004, Nels Cline has emerged as one of the most respected and unclassifiable musicians active today – memorably described by Jazz Times as “the world’s most dangerous guitarist” and by New York Times writer/bestselling author David Carr (Night of the Gun) as “one of the best guitarists in any genre.”
Ironically, Cline formed the Singers at the urging of versatile drummer Scott Amendola, a New Jersey-born Black Sabbath and Ornette Coleman acolyte who had gained prominence in San Francisco’s’ heady, dot-com era music scene of the early 90s though his collaborations with guitarist Charlie Hunter and saxophonist Philip Greenlief. It was Greenlief who introduced Cline to Amendola, who then brought in Colorado native Devin Hoff, a young contrabassist equally at ease with Norwegian Black Metal as he was with jazz standards and improvised music.
What emerged was a impeccably pedigreed and potently eclectic band of three successive generations of vanguard virtuosos whose buzz has only grown with each subsequent release Instrumentals (2002), The Giant Pin (2004), Draw Breath (2007) and their most recent double-album Initiate (2010).