Guitarist Nels Cline has played in jazz contexts (Julius Hemphill, Tim Berne, Gregg Bendian) and rock contexts (Mike Watt, Geraldine Fibbers), but nothing (well, almost nothing) could prepare one for this album, Cline’s first with the "Singers" moniker. His latest platter Instrumentals carries on the tradition of what’s known in rock circles as the "power trio" - namely, a guitar/bass/drums line-up: Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, etc., though it’s not "rock" or even "fusion" as most folks know it (though it does often recall the early, raw-er 70s fusion, a la the first Tony Williams’ Lifetime). Seemingly making up his own stylistic niche for himself, Cline’s guitar (electric, acoustic, 12-string, baritone varieties) approach encompasses the élan of a jazz player, the audaciousness, punch and attention-to-mood of a rock guitarist and the unfettered intuitiveness of a free-improviser (like Derek Bailey, for instance). And it’s not one of those "guitar-out-front, bass & drums-as-metronome" deals - Cline and compatriots Scott Amendola (drums, etc.) and Devin Hoff (bass) luminously play off each other throughout. Cline wails, yet wastes no note with gosh-looka-me finger exercises, and he has a superb ear for wrenching out creative and evocative "noise" but never for its own sake - there’s no water-treading/piddling-about until an idea comes along, either. If you’re still missing the jazz "power trio" Power Tools (B. Frisell/Melvin Gibbs/R.S. Jackson, one album on Antilles) or ever wondered what a collaboration by The Ventures and Hendrix might be like, or simply seeking a novel approach(es) to modern guitar, pick up on this scintillating slab o’ sound ASAP.