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, Arthur Blythe, Horace Tapscott, Gregg Bendian, Joseph Jarman, Wadada Leo Smith, Charlie Haden, Henry Grimes, Charles Lloyd, and countless others, having toured extensively in North America and Europe and having appeared on over a hundred recordings. From 1980 until 1991 he was a member of the seminal L.A.-area ensemble Quartet Music with Eric von Essen, Jeff Gauthier, and his twin brother Nels Cline. 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). His Cryptogramophone CD Continuation, featuring Jeff Gauthier, Peggy Lee, Myra Melford, and Scott Walton, was released in early 2009 to considerable acclaim. He also leads a group which plays his compositions as well as those by composers other than himself, Alex Cline's Band of the Moment. Alex has organized 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. For People in Sorrow, Alex's homage to and personal re-imagining of the influential composition People in Sorrow by Roscoe Mitchell and recorded by the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1969, was performed with an all-star ensemble at L.A.'s REDCAT in October 2011 as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival, and a CD/DVD package of the performance was released on Cryptogramophone. Alex has also been heard on numerous film soundtracks and in collaboration with many dancers, dance companies, and visual artists. Many print and online magazines have run feature articles on Alex, and he was included among the twenty of the "world's most creative percussionists" in Michael Bettine and Trevor Taylor's book Percussion Profiles. Some of Alex's more recent musical associations are those with the Jeff Gauthier Goatette, Dependent Origination, the Amir ElSaffar-Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet, the Tom McNalley Trio, the Ross Hammond Quartet, a duo with Thollem McDonas, and Open Gate Theatre.
"Alex Cline has a musical sensibility and sensitivity that belong to another time... a time when intimate thoughts were best expressed by someone sitting down, setting pen to paper, and sending their innermost feelings by land or sea, to be read by the intended a few days or weeks later... in short, a time when "time" really counted." -Peter Erskine