Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

Versatile guitarist Nels Cline brings something special to every setting he works in. He’s famous for the blistering lead lines he plays for the rock band Wilco, and he’s brought his special touch to countless jazz and free-improv recordings and shows. On Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2, he teams with Medeski, Martin & Wood, a trio that travel easily between genres. The album was recorded in a studio, but in real time. The resulting music includes dark ambient, energetic prog, wailing rock, and other sounds. The brief opener, “Doors of Perception,” is spacy and eerie in ways that recall Miles Davis circa Live Evil. “Bonjour Beze” moves through a number of passages; Eastern touches, note-bending synths, and distorted guitar rumbles all find their place. “Mezcal” combines '90s post-rock with Mahavishnu Orchestra–like leanings. John Medeski’s keyboard work shines on “Los Blank,” especially when he lets loose some dirty organ comping that could drive a choice Fela cut. Bells shimmer and cymbals splash on “Cinders,” where Cline and Medeski spin out sparkling psych tones. It’s a moody closer that leaves listeners wanting more.

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