Rod Poole, Nels Cline and Jim Mcauley – Acoustic Guitar Trio

Rod Poole index

ROD POOLE, NELS CLINE AND JIM MCAULEY
ACOUSTIC GUITAR TRIO
(Incus CD 46)
Inclusive / My You / Extinguished by Rain / Squeeze Toy / Web / Seventeen Step (57:09)
Poole, Cline, McAuley, g. Los Angeles, 9 Sep 2000.

This is a slightly untypical venture for Derek Bailey’s London-based Incus label. The six pieces freely improvised by this trio of American guitarists are appealing and straightforwardly beautiful performances: one hopes the CD’s release on a label whose regular offerings are usually a good deal thornier won’t prevent guitar enthusiasts of all stripes from checking this out. Poole, Cline and McAuley intermesh with impressive empathy. There are passages of lively squirrel-chase runs up and down the fretboard, and sections of fragmentation and dissonance, but the music mostly has a melting reverie-like character, in which the guitarists’ gently articulated arpeggios and throbbing bass notes create a texture as tremulous as the shimmering of air in summer heat. It’s a sonically rich album, which benefits from the guitarists’ canny use of detuning in places to create sounds that resemble a zither or dulcimer, and from Poole’s use of a bow to create eerie, resonant drones on the last piece, “Seventeen Steps.” Strongly recommended.

Nate Dorward
Cadence, November 2002

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