Percussionist-composer Alex Cline has been a mainstay on the jazz and new music scenes of Los Angeles for over thirty-five years, his endeavors having established for him a career international in scope. Combining colorful and sensitive percussion sounds with a drumming foundation based in the jazz tradition, Cline is recognized for his contributions to the music of such artists as Vinny Golia, Julius Hemphill, Bobby Bradford, Tim Berne, Richard Grossman, John Carter, Don Preston, Horace Tapscott, Gregg Bendian, Joseph Jarman, Wadada Leo Smith, Charlie Haden, and countless others, having toured extensively in North America and Europe and having appeared on almost a hundred recordings.
His work as a composer and bandleader has been documented on four recordings with his group, the Alex Cline Ensemble: The Lamp and The Star (ECM), Montsalvat (Nine Winds), Sparks Fly Upward, and The Constant Flame (both on Cryptogramophone), all receiving considerable critical acclaim. His newest Cryptogramophone CD Continuation, featuring Jeff Gauthier, Peggy Lee, Myra Melford, and Scott Walton, was released in early 2009, and response to it has been overwhelmingly favorable. He also leads a group which plays his compositions as well as those by musicians other than himself, Alex Cline’s Band of the Moment.
Alex has spearheaded some notable improvisational group collaborations as well, such as the trio Cline-Gauthier-Stinson and the quartet Cloud Plate (with Kaoru, Miya Masaoka, and G.E. Stinson), both of which have released CDs. He has also been heard on numerous film soundtracks and in collaboration with many dancers and visual artists. Many print and online magazines have run feature articles on Alex, and he was included in Michael Bettine and Trevor Taylor’s book Percussion Profiles among twenty of the “world’s most creative percussionists.” Alex’s current musical associations include those with the Arthur Blythe Quintet, the Jeff Gauthier Goatette, Steuart Liebig’s Seconda Prattica, the Tom McNalley Trio, George McMullen, Philip Gelb, and Open Gate Theatre.