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New Crypto-filthy Issue of Downbeat

OK, we were a little disappointed that only one Crypto drop from 2007 -- The Nels Cline Singers Draw Breath -- made Downbeat's Best CDs of 2007 poll. But that sting was unguented by the presence of two well-reviewed Crypto CDs in the same issue: Trio M's Big Picture and Alan Pasqua's The Antisocial Club, which also made "The Hot Box" for the January 2008 issue, on newsstands now. As if that wasn't enough (and it nearly never is), there's a mention of Nels "Ow! Ya!" Cline in a review of the Daniele Cavallanti Electric Unit's Smoke Inside. (This following the glowing *** star review of David Witham's Spinning The Circle, also printed below).

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The Antisocial Club is a fresh and dynamic disc, charged with honest meotion and a loose eclecticism that nods to electric Miles Davis...Pasqua delivers fluid, clinking Fender Rhodes lines as well as spiraling, chirpy-to-throaty synth and limpid acoustic piano. A nice surprise is the big tone, muscular phrasing and high-range accuracy of young trumpeter [Ambrose} Akinmusire. Skronks, scribbles and gurgles by the brilliant guitarist Nles Cline (and drummer Scott Amendola on electronics), as well as tasteful percussion by Alex Acuna, are central to the mysterioso ensemble texture. ***
- Paul de Barros

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One glance at their respective song titles hints at the diverse approaches of Trio M's members, who on the surface seem to have little in common beyond that first initial. There's Myra Melford's mysterious, evocative "Secrets to Tell You," Mark Dresser's direct, no-nonsense "For Bradford" and Matt Wilson's firmly tongue-in-cheek "Naive Art." But as Melford's title tune suggests, a larger context exists in which all of these elements engage one another. Her writing for the trio, unlike the hypnotic atmospherics of 2006's The Image of Your Body, is sugggestive rather than enveloping. It seem sas if scaffolding has been removed, allowing the essence to show through the structure. ***1/2
- Shaun Brady

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Cavallanti is the the nominal leader on Smoke Inside, also a showcase for the fertile, impassioned wanderings of chameleonic guitar wizard Nels Cline. The latter's free-floating declarations stretches way out at the start of the opener, "Cline's Line," which unfolds into acoustic-electric funk fusion, like a balst from the early '70s and none the worse for the wear. ***1/2
- Phillip Booth

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A jaunty pop sensibility runs through much of Spinning The Circle, which speaks more to David Witham's long employment with George Benson than it does his studies with pianist Jaki Byard. Balancing the tendency toward rhythmic vamps and ebullient themes is a moodier side expressed through electronics and yearning ballads. It's an effective mix, if a bit formulaic. On the uptempo side, the recording gets off to a raucous start with the clatter of digital noise over a funky Scott Amendola drum pattern. What better way to set the table for a distorted workout by guest guitarist Nels Cline? The presence of Amendola, Cline and steel guitarist Greg Leisz set the album up as what might be called "the payback recording," where high-profile friends show up to help out a lesser-known but equally gifted buddy. Witham makes great use out of Cline and Leisz. Cline adds to the electric ambience on "Afrobeat," while Leisz's steel sounds sweet on the bolero "Con Quien" and resolute on the gritty "N.O. Rising." Of the moodier compositions, "Momentuum" is the most memorable, with its tension-filled mix of lap steel, accordion, bass and clarinet. ***
- James Hale

CRYPTOGRAMOPHONE: YOU CAN'T ESCAPE US!!

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Adam Rudolph Alex Cline's Band of the Moment Alex Cline; Nels Cline: Alex & Nels Cline; Downbeat; Continuation; Coward Alma Lisa Fernandez Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 1) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 2) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Photos Antonio Sanchez avant-garde Ben Goldberg Bennie Maupin Bennie Maupin & Dolphyana Bill Stewart Billy Childs Jazz-Chamber Ensemble Billy Corgan Billy Hart Bob Sheppard California Jazz Foundation Cameron Graves Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Carol Robbins Charles Mingus; Son of Watts Musical Caravan Project; Azar Lawrence; Nate Morgan; Henry Franklin; Alphonse Mouzon; Prayer for My Ancestors Charles Owens Chops: The Movie Chris Barton Cryptogramophone Records Cryptonight Darek Oles Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy David Anderson Pianos David Witham Denman Maroney Devin Hoff Double M Jazz Salon Downbeat 57th Annual Critics Poll Dwight Trible Eagle Rock Center for the Arts Eclipse Quartet Edward Vesala Electric Lodge Eric Dolphy Eric Von Essen First Friday Series at the Museum of Neon Art G.E. Stinson Global Village Monday with Maggie LePique Go: Organic Orchestra Gravitas Quartet Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival; Peter Erskine Greg Kot Gregg Bendian Hale Smith Hannah Rothschild Hans Fjellstad Harry Partch; L.A. Weekly; John Schneider; REDCAT Horace Tapscott; Horace Tapscott Tribute Concert; Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra; the Ark; Jazz Bakery; Ruth Price; Jesse Sharps; Austin Peralta; Isaac Smith Huffington Post Hugh Hopper Ikeda Kings Orchestra improvisation Initiate Ivan Cotton James Newton Jason Robinson Jay Bennett Jay Hoggard jazz Jazz at the Plgrimage Jazz Bakery Jazz Explosion III Jazz Journey with Eddie B. Jeff Gauthier Jeff Tweedy Jesse Sharps Jim Black Joe Zawinul John "Drumbo" French John Fumo Kamasi Washington Ken Coomer Ken Kawamura KJAZZ 88.1-FM KPFK 90.7-FM KXLU 88.9-FM Larry Goldings Larry Karush Larry Koonse Learning How To Die Leimert Park: The Roots and Branches of L.A. Jazz Les Paul Lester Bowie Lily Burk Memorial Live at the Atelier Los Angeles New Music Ensemble Los Angeles Times Luis Bonilla Maggie Parkins Marcus Rojas Mark Dresser Mark Zaleski Mel Morris Michael Davis Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Mimi Melnick Motoko Honda Museum of Neon Art Museum of Neon Art; MONA; Many Axes; Susan Rawcliffe; Scott Wilkinson; Brad Dutz music blog Myra Melford Nasheet Waits Natsuki Tamura Nels Cline Nels Cline Singers Nels Cline Singers with Jeff Parker Nestor Torres Nick Rosen OC Creative Music Collective Oguri Open Gate Theatre Sunday Concert Series Pannonica Rothschild Peggy Lee Peter Bernstein plays monk Rashied Ali ResBox at the Steve Allen Theater RISE with Mark Maxwell Roberto Miranda Rod Poole Ron MIles Royal/T Cafe Sara Parkins Sara Schoenbeck Sarah Thornblade SASSAS Satoko Fujii Scott Amendola Scott Colley Sky Saxon Tribute Sonship Theus Spirit Moves Spirits in the Sky Steuart Liebig Terry Riley The Gathering The Jazz Baroness The JazzCat with Leroy Downs Thelonious Monk Thomas Stones Tom McNalley Trilogy Van Morrison; Astral Weeks; Scott Foundas; Jan Steward; Music Cirle; SASSAS Vincent Chancey Wayne Horvitz Wayne Peet Wilco Wilco; Nels Cline Wilco; Wilco (The Album); Nels Cline Will Salmon