Alex Cline’s Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows
Drummer Alex Cline and his Flower Garland Orchestra’s exquisite Ocean of Vows is another world spirituality classic. Cline is a Zen Buddhist and his 10-piece, two-hour work is based on excerpts from the Avatamsaka Sutra. The 14-piece orchestra features his sister-in-law Yuka C. Honda (samples), Jeff Gauthier (violin) and Alex’s twin brother, Nels Cline, on guitar. Cline’s oceanic work contains extensive sung passages that merge into slow-motion nebular events, with some exceptional soloing along the way. “This is because that is/ That is because this is,” chants the entire ensemble during the especially cosmic “A Flash of Lightning.” And it is indeed.