Nels Cline, Dave Rempis, Devin Hoff, and Frank Rosaly; DJ Doug McCombs | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Nels Cline, Dave Rempis, Devin Hoff, and Frank Rosaly; DJ Doug McCombs Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., March 9, 9:30 p.m. 2011

Most Chicagoans who recognize the name Nels Cline probably know him from Wilco, but last year this veteran LA guitarist—aggressive, fearless, focused, and economical—repped his jazz bona fides and stylistic versatility in a big way. For the sprawling, ambitious Dirty Baby, a multimedia project conceived by poet and producer David Breskin to celebrate some of Ed Ruscha's "censor strip" paintings, he wrote widely varied music for a sizable crew of collaborators. To accompany the painter's "silhouette" series, a kind of cryptic history of the country told through hazy black images and blank bars (aka censor strips) he composed an extended suite; for the decidedly abstract "cityscape" series he wrote a series of 33 one- to two-minute vignettes. Equally ambitious and wide-ranging is Initiate (like Dirty Baby, a double CD on the Cryptogramophone label), the latest release by his long-running trio the Nels Cline Singers. The studio-recorded half of Initiate evokes the peaks of Miles Davis's early-70s electric period or the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, in both cases radically transformed by Cline's pedal-hopping extrapolations, which draw on free jazz, fusion, metal, psychedelia, and more. Both projects feature muscular bassist Devin Hoff, who retired from the Singers after moving to Chicago last year. Cline and Hoff will be joined by a pair of local mainstays, reedist Dave Rempis and percussionist Frank Rosaly, for two sets of fully improvised music. Doug McCombs spins. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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