Nels Cline

Ash and Tabula: Out Trios, Vol. 3

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Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, and Tom Rainey can play anything from fiendishly complex charts to being consummate improvisers, and it's the latter end of that spectrum that's on display on the appropriately titled Out Trios, Vol. 3. The seven freely improvised tracks don't approach anything resembling a groove until the end of the disc, but clearly demonstrate what excellent players and listeners they all are. Cline's mastery of guitar and effects and Parkins' sampling abilities mean there are going to be some wild tones conjured up, and sometimes it's hard to tell who's doing what between them (is Andrea sampling Nels?). Rainey shows considerable restraint, knowing just when to sit out and when to push things ahead or simply support. There's a lot of space used by all the players on these moody pieces, although the use of delays and effects means there's little in the way of actual silence. The music is improvised, but the trio's unhurried approach allows the listener to really identify how the players are interacting with each other, which is where the real magic happens in this type of music. Certainly not for all tastes, but very well done all the same.

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