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April 13 2018

Guitarist Nels Cline debuts a new band with Currents, Constellations, a new album out today on Blue Note Records that brims with raw energy and wild beauty. The Nels Cline 4 is an intrepid unit that builds upon Cline’s acclaimed collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage by adding bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. All of the music is Cline’s, save the rare Carla Bley gem “Temporarily” from the Jimmy Giuffre 3 songbook. has premiered video of The Nels Cline 4 performing “Temporarily” live in the studio, calling it “a performance of insinuative grace and unhurried command.”

See what the critics are saying about Currents, Constellations:

an epoch-defining performer and composer”—DownBeat

vibrant, adventurous... a skronking, shredding, shapeshifting good time”—Stereogum

The sight of Cline and Julian Lage jamming in the studio is worth the price of admission alone.”—Guitar World

Currents, Constellations is eight restlessly virtuosic pieces with skewed rock, jazz or funky themes…[Cline & Lage] flaunt a freewheeling, playful dexterity. But there’s heart too…”—The Times of London

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Of all the rich and varied projects guitarist Nels Cline has pursued since his emergence as a leader in the late 1980s, his two-guitar duo with Julian Lage, documented on the 2014 Mack Avenue album Room, ranks among the most special. “When Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard,” Cline told JazzTimes around the time of Room’s release. “At the same time it inspired me and refreshed my soul.” Lage, whose new Mack Avenue album Modern Lore has also been earning rave reviews, declared he had “found his people” playing with Cline: “At last I found a scenario where … you could be free and adventurous, you could utilize sound and be extremely melodic and evocative.”

“Even in the earliest days of the duo we used to say, ‘I wonder what we’d do if we ever had a rhythm section,’” Cline recalls. In 2016 he decided to find out by inviting Colley and Rainey to collaborate with he and Lage during a residency at The Stone in New York City. “I brought in a few themes and we just kind of went for it. Everyone was enthusiastic about continuing the work.”

Known as the lead guitarist of Wilco since 2004, and one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists,” Cline is coming off the success of his 2016 Blue Note debut Lovers, a “quietly ravishing double-album” (NY Times) featuring Cline with a large ensemble conducted and arranged by Michael Leonhart that was “wildly inventive in its watercolored way” (Rolling Stone).

The Nels Cline 4 will celebrate the album’s release with a sold-out show at (le) poisson rouge in New York City on April 16. A European tour will follow, with Cline joined by Lage, Rainey, and bassist Jorge Roeder. Visit

The Nels Cline 4 – 2018 Tour Dates:

April 16 – New York, NY – (le) poisson rouge – SOLD OUT

April 20 –  Geneva, CH – AMR - Sud des Alpes – TICKETS

April 21 – Oslo, NO – Nasjonal Jazzscene, Victoria – TICKETS

April 22 – Liverpool, UK – Invisible Wind Factory – TICKETS

April 24 – London, UK – Vortex – TICKETS

April 25 – Berlin, DE – ZigZag Club – TICKETS

April 26 – Madrid, ES – Sala Clamores – TICKETS

April 27 – Munich, DE – Unterfahrt Jazzclub – TICKETS

April 28 – Ferrara, IT –  Torrione San Giovanni – Jazz Club Ferrara – TICKETS

April 30 – Istanbul, TU – Babylon Bomonti Istanbul – TICKETS

May 2 – Kortrijk, BE –Belgium De Kreun – TICKETS

May 4 – Liége, BE – La Cité Miroir – TICKETS