Nels Cline Makes Blue Note Debut With ‘Lovers’ Due Out 8/5

 Nels Cline makes his Blue Note debut with the Aug. 5 release of Lovers, an expansive double-album that the guitarist had dreamed of making for over 25 years. Inspired by the likes of Bill Evans, Jim Hall, Gil Evans, Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini and others, Cline finally realized his ambitious “mood music” project with an ensemble of 23 stellar musicians conducted and arranged by Michael Leonhart. Lovers was produced by David Breskin and recorded and mixed by Ron Saint Germain. The album is available for pre-order today on vinyl, CD or download at the Nels Cline Store. Fans who pre-order any format will be entered in a contest to win a signed test pressing, signed vinyl, or dinner with Nels, and will also receive a download of the track “Beautiful Love” right away. Watch the video for “Beautiful Love” below..

“I have been dreaming about, planning, and re-working my rather obsessive idea of this record for well over twenty-five years, and it was always going to be called Lovers,” says Cline. “It is meant to be as personal in its sound and in its song selection as it is universal in its endeavor to assay or map the parameters of ‘mood’ as it once pertained, and currently pertains, to the peculiar and powerful connection between sound/song and intimacy/romance. In this, I hope Lovers offers something of an update of the ‘mood music’ idea and ideal, while celebrating and challenging our iconic notion of romance.”

The material on Lovers is wide-ranging; the album’s 18 tracks include Cline’s striking originals as well as Great American Songbook standards and songs by Sonic Youth, Arto Lindsay, Jimmy Giuffre and others. Cline will premiere Lovers live at the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 31, with additional performances at UCLA and SFJAZZ next year.

 The track listing and personnel for Lovers is as follows:



1. Introduction / Diaphanous   4:23

music by Nels Cline

2. Glad To Be Unhappy   4:07

music by Richard Rodgers / lyrics by Lorenz Hart

3. Beautiful Love   3:58

music by Wayne King, Victor Young & Egbert Van Alstyne / lyrics by Haven Gillespie

4. Hairpin & Hatbox   3:32

music by Nels Cline

5. Cry, Want   6:53

music by Jimmy Giuffre


Side Two

1. Lady Gabor   8:26

music by Gabor Szabo

2. The Bed We Made   3:25

music by Nels Cline

3. You Noticed   4:01

music by Nels Cline

4. Secret Love   4:30

music by Sammy Fain / lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

5. I Have Dreamed   2:39

music by Richard Rodgers / lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II


Side Three

1. Why Was I Born?   5:04

Music by Jerome Kern / lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

2. Invitation   2:26

music by Bronislaw Kaper / lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

3. It Only Has To Happen Once   5:45

music and lyrics by Arto Lindsay & Peter Scherer

4. The Night Porter / Max, Mon Amour    8:13

music by Daniele Paris (The Night Porter) / music by Michel Portal (Max, Mon Amour)


Side Four

1. Snare, Girl   6:35

music & lyrics by Sonic Youth

2. So Hard It Hurts / Touching   6:53

music by Annette Peacock

3. The Search For Cat   2:33

music by Henry Mancini

4. The Bond   5:48

music by Nels Cline


NELS CLINE: electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel, effects

DEVIN HOFF: contrabass, bass guitar

ALEX CLINE: drumset, percussion

STEVEN BERNSTEIN: trumpet, slide trumpet, flugelhorn, alto horn

TAYLOR HASKINS: trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone

MICHAEL LEONHART: trumpet, flugelhorn, cymbalon, celeste

ALAN FERBER: trombone, bass trombone

CHARLES PILLOW: C, alto, & bass flutes, oboe, English horn, alto saxophone, Bb clarinet

JD PARRAN: C, alto, & bass flutes, Bb clarinet, alto clarinet, baritone & bass saxophones

BEN GOLDBERG: contra-alto clarinet, Bb clarinet

DOUGLAS WIESELMAN: bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, tenor saxophone

GAVIN TEMPLETON: Bb clarinet, alto saxophone


JULIAN LAGE: acoustic & electric guitars

KENNY WOLLESEN: vibraphone, marimba, percussion


YUKA C HONDA: celeste, Juno 60



AMY KIMBALL: viola & violin





arranged and conducted by MICHAEL LEONHART

produced by DAVID BRESKIN

recorded and mixed by RON SAINT GERMAIN 

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