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The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
June 22, 2018





This is part one of our profile of great new summer albums that may be of interest to adventurous Jazz Notes readers such as yourself.



Our two featured albums are both from guitarists Nels Cline and Steve Tibbetts, who couldn’t be more different from each other. However, what they have in common is their dedication to staying true to their original “voice”. They both utilize a creative approach to their music as they discover new sounds that define their unique styles.  Where Nels Cline is frenetic and full of energy, Steve Tibbetts is meditative, dreamy and ethereal but both artists are masterful when it comes to their improvisational abilities.






Artist/Group / Title / Label


The Nels Cline 4/ Currents, Constellations/ Blue Note



Nels Cline is known for his work as lead guitarist with the band Wilco since 2004. He is also getting lots of attention for his genre-bending collaborations with Jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage as heard on their 2014 album as a duo, Room, on Detroit’s Mack Avenue Records. Here they explore new musical territory, drawing on everything from Jazz and Blues to Bluegass, and Country.



“When Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard,” Cline told JazzTimes around the time of Room’s release. “At the same time, it inspired me and refreshed my soul.”



On Currents and Constellations they’ve since added a rhythm section consisting of of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey to the guitar duo we first heard on Room. The new expanded band really rocks!









Steve Tibbetts / Life Of / ECM


Guitarist and pianist, Steve Tibbetts, has been a signature artist with ECM records since 1981. “Life Of” is his ninth album on the label. This new release is a collection of musical portraits, mostly of family and friends with titles such as “Life of El” and “Life of Emily.



Although raised in Midwest America,  Tibbetts has travelled extensively to Southeast Asia, including Bali and Nepal. This is very evident in his music from the use of certain modes and scales to instrumentation and the essence of spirituality. These characteristics have been the foundation of his music, and have defined his sound throughout his career.



The album features him collaborating with Marc Anderson on percussion and handpan, and Michelle Kinney on cello and drones. The music they create is uncluttered, meditative, other worldly and beautiful.



Next week’s Jazz Notes features profiles of two more new releases from Robert Glasper and Charles Lloyd.



Other new albums of note include:
Bill Frisell / Music Is / Okeh
Marcus Miller / Laid Black / Blue Note
Terrance Blanchard and the E Collective / Live / Blue Note
Stanley Clark/ The Message / Mack Avenue
Gogo Penquin/ A Humdrum Star / Blue Note




Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM (NPR), where she was Director of Programming and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

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