Alex Cline

Alex Cline is a drummer and percussionist who has been involved in West Coast jazz since the late 1970s. Cline was born in Los Angeles and grew up with his twin brother Nels Cline. They began playing music together as children. Quartet Music, a prestigious ’80s band featuring violinist Jeff Gauthier as well as bassist Eric Von Essen, is perhaps one of their most well-known groups. Cline continued to work with Quartet Music members in other ensembles such as Gregg Bendian’s Interzone and G.E., even though the band disbanded mid-’90s. Cline has continued to collaborate with members of Quartet Music, such as the Jeff Gauthier Quintet and Cline’s own Alex Cline Ensemble. Cline was actually a leader of dates for ECM, Vinny Golia’s 9 Winds label, as well as Cryptogramophone in the ’80s, ’90s. Cline formed Duo Infinity along with Jamil Shabaka (woodwinds player), and led the improvised music group, Spiral. He also staged solo performances throughout the years. Cline’s many projects gave him the opportunity to use the extensive collection of percussion instruments, especially Asian metal instruments, he accumulated over the years. Cline recorded over 40 albums with many notable musicians, including Julius Hemphill (he was in Hemphill’s trio and in his JAH Band), Vinny Golia (in different ensembles), and others. Cline has performed with John Carter, Charlie Haden, and Tim Berne. He has performed on film soundtracks, collaborated with Los Angeles dance companies, and gave lectures, workshops, and clinics. Cline was active in many of the groups mentioned above, as well as the Bobby Bradford Mo’tet, during the late 1990s. Cline enjoyed The Other Shore, his second lead date with Cryptogramophone in 2000. Cryptogramophone’s 2001 releases were Sparks Fly Upward (recorded April 1998) and The Constant Flame. Peter Erskine produced both critically acclaimed albums. Cline continued to be a session musician and toured musician between the album and Cloud Plate, his next album on the label. His recorded work was included on the albums of Jeff Gauthier, his brother and violinist, and Lydia Lunch. He was also a member Gregg Bendian’s Interzone and the Richard Grossman Trio as well as the Scot Ray Quintet. He was a member of John Wolf Brennan’s quintet Shooting Stars in 2007.

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