The Bottesini Project

On the Bottesini Project's outstanding self-titled debut, leader and saxophonist Paul Riola recruited high-caliber musicians like Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and drummer Scott Amendola to play on tunes that were largely improvised. For its followup, Naima's Grass Pajamas, Riola assembled a new cast of players, among them Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Keenan Wayne, guitarist Janet Feder and laptop wizard CacheFlowe, to create an equally vivid collection of tunes that stemmed from a day of collective improvising. As Riola puts it, the tracks were then reconstructed during mixing to tell a more coherent and cohesive story. While it's intriguing to hear Cline in a completely different environment than, say, performing with the Nels Cline Singers, the other players make equally compelling contributions to this disc, which wonderfully straddles the organic and electronic.

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