About the album
Born of a provocative mating of art and music, DIRTY BABY is guitarist/composer Nels Cline and poet/producer David Breskin’s visionary recontextualization of Ed Ruscha's "censor strip" paintings. This sumptuous double-CD set includes more than an hour-and-a-half of new music by Cline for two large ensembles, paired booklets with reproductions of 66 Ruscha pictures, and insightful liner notes by Nels in a third booklet graced by session photos. Supporting musicians include Jon Brion; Nels Cline Singers cohorts Scott Amendola and Devin Hoff; Nels’ twin brother Alex Cline; and some of L.A.'s most illustrious instrumentalists and improvisers. Cline's orchestrations here offer a panoply of sound and vision: from pedal steel and cigarbox guitars to harmonica and banjo ukulele; from violin and cello through saxophone and trumpet, all the way to Cline’s mysterious Quintronics Drum Buddy. In both composition and execution, this is a recording of ambition, scope and surprise: it sheds new light (and new sound) on Ruscha's groundbreaking images, and provides a major feast in its own right.