A trio of collective-improvisers recording in NYC's East Village in 2015 for exceptionally sympathetic dialog, instigated by electric keyboard improvisor Thollem McDonas, with Nels Cline on guitar and Charles Gayle cohort Michael Wimberly on drums; Fred Frith liner notes!
Thollem / Wimberly / Cline
Label: Relative Pitch
Released in: USA
"I love this record. I thought I probably would, but the reality surpassed my expectations. Maybe because so many more questions are posed and elegant solutions put forward than I had imagined before I heard it. About tuning and timbre. Density and openness. Repetition and memory. About style and genre and the nature of technique. Flashes of Larry Young and Tony Williams Lifetime when they were re-defining jazz forever. Tristano. Sharrock. Subtle alterations, treatments, processes. Relentless kinetic energy. Above all, an appreciation for how to find and hang on to your place in a narrative unfolding at speed. For the fact that structure is not what is imposed, but what is revealed. For how the recording process affects sound and performance. If empathy is the capacity for putting yourself in someone else's shoes, then these are truly empathetic players, which we hear at every twist and turn. But I'm also struck by something about physics, about the nature of mass and the strength of mutual gravitational attraction. This music seems to exist as much on that basic level as on any other, and as such it is compelling and fun. Like watching asteroids. Or blades of grass. Or shoals of fish. Or birds."-Fred Frith, from the liner notes
• Show Bio for Nels Cline
"Nels Courtney Cline (born January 4, 1956 in Los Angeles) is an American guitarist and composer. He has been the guitarist for the band Wilco since 2004.
He first came to prominence in the 1980s playing jazz, often in collaboration with his twin brother Alex Cline, a drummer. Since then, he has worked with a wide range of musicians in punk and alternative rock, notably Mike Watt and Thurston Moore. He also leads the groups the Nels Cline Singers and Nels Cline Trio.
Cline was named the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in November 2011."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nels_Cline)
^ Hide Bio for Nels Cline
• Show Bio for Thollem McDonas
"Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, organist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Though Thollem's widely known as an acoustic piano player, he's also the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and has recently branched out significantly into the world of electronics through a multitude of projects.
Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 15 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 22 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. "Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument" (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Rob Mazurek, Martha Colburn and ACVilla. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. Presently Thollem is developing an audio/visual experience about America through an 8 month, 48 state odyssey with his partner the videographer ACVilla. He's also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine."-Thollem McDonas Website (http://www.thollem.com/bio.html)
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Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR-1041
Squidco Product Code: 20901
Recorded at Rivington 66 in New York City, New York in February 3rd, 2015 by Eli Crews.
Nels Cline-electric guitar, effects
Thollem-electric effected acoustic piano, analog outfitters AO44, modified electric piano/effects.
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1. Radical Empathy 3:42
2. Rain Drops To 2:36
3. Rouge Thinkers 3:14
4. Pores 3:03
5. Thinkers Mix 4:14
6. Howled Ground 5:13
7. The Middle 4:50
8. So To Seep 3:00
9. Thought Pools 5:01
10. The Second Middle 2:35
11. To The Core 4:14
12. Pools Up 2:26
13. Of Being 3:08