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The Twin Unavoidability Factor

Cryptogramophone's month-long guest blogging for Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music continues with our label head Jeff Gauthier's latest post on his 30+ year relationship with twins extraordinare Alex and Nels Cline. Here's an except:

"One of the perks of owning a record label is from time to time I get to pretend to be a record producer. I say pretend, because most of the artists I work with don't really need to be produced. In many cases the musicians are my longtime colleagues and closest friends, and they often have mad production skills of their own. Usually my involvement is limited to booking the studio, hiring the engineer, and making sure everyone gets fed. I make myself available as a second pair of ears, and I keep extensive notes. But at least as far as the musicians I produce are concerned, the artist is almost always right.


"I've been working with guitarist Nels Cline and drummer/percussionist Alex Cline for about 30 years (and yes we did start out as small children). For about 15 of those years we co-led a new music ensemble called Quartet Music with bassist/composer Eric von Essen. After Eric's untimely death in 1996, Alex and I continued playing in each other's ensembles, and Nels has played and recorded in many of my groups as well.

"Not many people know that Nels and Alex are identical twins (mirror twins to be exact). Most people don't know because they don't advertise it. They don't advertise it because their musical paths don't cross quite as often as they used to, and besides, it's kind of old news to them. I think more than a few people in the world at large were surprised to discover that Nels and Alex shared the same birthday at their 50th birthday concert in LA a few years ago. Two musicians with same birthday, wow what a coincidence!


"On February 10th, 2009, Cryptogramophone will release two recordings: Coward by Nels Cline, and Continuation by Alex Cline. This is the first time in the history of the world that Alex and Nels will have CDs coming out at the same time on the same label. I'm afraid I must take partial credit for this, as it was important to me that these two artists, who have been so instrumental in my life, make definitive statements to cap Cryptogramophone's tenth anniversary year. This radical idea unleashed a wild set of coincidences (the "Twin Unavoidability Factor" as Alex calls it) which if examined closely extend far beyond the bounds of serendipity or genetic predisposition. And just for the record, until recently both artists had been working with absolutely no knowledge of what the other was doing."

Check out the full blog post here, which includes two unreleased tracks from each of the Cline Brothers newest Crypto releases. Also, Nels will be doing his part for the common republic with Das Viclo when he/they appear tonight on The Colbert Report.

This Sunday, November 2, Alex Cline will be hosting an amazing lineup of local muscians for the Memorial Concert for percussionist Dan Morris. Alex has many talented friends who are planning to show, including Larry Karush, Brad Dutz’s Obliteration Trio, rock band the Cheat, Eleni Mandell (accompanied by Jeremy Drake), Takako Uemura, Marie Morris, Matt Piper, and Alex Cline’s Band of the Moment (including Jeff Gauthier, Dan Clucas, G.E. Stinson, Wayne Peet, Steuart Liebig, Erin Barnes, Cline, and live painter Norton Wisdom). Look out for Alex's upcoming Greenleaf Music post on the concert and his late friend Morris who passed away way too young last December.

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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