A Love Electric
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A Love Electric

Mexico City, México, Mexico | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Mexico City, México, Mexico | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Art Rock

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"A Fascinating musician" - NPR "Blistering" - The Prague Post "A gem... Clouser spices the All American vibe of Bill Frisell with some Jimi Hendrix fire" - The Philadelphia Inquirer - See more at: http://toddclouser.com/index#sthash.ZpdhoidT.dpuf - NPR


"Considered one of the finest contemporary guitarists of his generation" - La Razon


Todd Clouser was a rock guitarist until he dropped out of that scene several years ago and moved to Mexico in search of a new musical direction. He now leads the blistering neo-jazz rock quintet A Love Electric .... - The Prague Post


Alt-jazz guitar sensation Todd Clouser and his latest ensemble A Love Electric lit up the jazz room at Dazzle in Denver on Wednesday. Showcasing a blend of jazz and funk with an obvious rock and roll influence, Clouser and his four piece collective (consisting of Zack Lozier on trumpet, Chris Bates on bass, Greg Schutte on drums and special guest- Denver’s own Jon Wirtz on piano) blended extreme technical prowess with impeccable improvisation for an intimate crowd at what Clouser himself referred to as one of his favorite jazz rooms in the country.

Although Clouser currently calls Baja, Mexico home, A Love Electric consider themselves a Minneapolis, Minnesota outfit. As the group rolled through intricate originals peppered with covers of songs by Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and Thelonious Monk, they all oozed passion and experience. Clouser’s deep emotion was evident throughout the two sets, as was as equally displayed in his playing as it was in his bodily mannerisms. He mimicked each guitar note with his mouth as if his passion for the work he does was just all too great to be merely vented through his guitar.

Though considered a jazz player, his love for an eclectic range of genres is apparent, and likely what sets him apart from his contemporaries and makes him tick. This tour, supporting his latest release A Love Electric meanders through the mid-west, heads over to California, down to Mexico and culminates in the American north-east. If you’d like to catch a jazz act with a refreshing range of non-jazz influences, Clouser is your guy. He’ll give you your moneys worth and no doubt blow your mind.

Jimi Hendrix Nirvana On Tour Reviews Thelonious Monk Todd Clouser
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A gem, Clouser spices the the All-American vibe of guitarist Bill Frisell with some Jimi Hendrix fire. 3.5/4 - Philadelphia Inquirer



"Clouser is on the road to promote a new CD, “A Love Electric,” a title that says a lot about his music — he likes to turn it up and let it rip, but whatever happens after that is wide open. No influence is excluded, and none is better than any other.......The future of jazz probably has a lot of guitar in it. The music of (Julian) Lage and Clouser promises quite a bit for that future. But in their own ways, they’re also delivering the goods right now." - Kansas City Star , Joe Klopus, Weds Feb 16

"Clouser is probably best classified as a jazz guitarist, but when you listen to his music, the funk and rock keep you on your toes. And the beauty of it is all the songs have melodies that stick." - Vintage Guitar Magazine - May 2011

"It’s jazz and the blues; it’s funk and old-school 70s rock; its good, damn good music. Turn it on and turn it up." - Thewaster.com - Michael J. Bultman

"(A Love Electric serves) a catchy amalgam of retro soul and jazz-rock experimentalism.... a hardcore jazz element also crops up." - Jazz Times, April 2011

"Excellent, driving Ropeadope Records debut"... " "sporting avant flourishes and grooves galore...A Love Electric liberally mixes jazz, funk and rock with compelling results." - Minneapolis Star Tribune - Tom Surowicz

"Clouser's gambit isn't the only promising path to reclaim a vibrant audience for jazz. It is, however, one of the most rewarding." - Plastic Sax Kansas City, http://plasticsax.blogspot.com/

No. 6 Independent Release of 2010 TODD CLOUSER – ‘A LOVE ELECTRIC’ - Something Else! - somethingelserevies.com

"The Next Big Thing" - Jazzclub Tonne, Dresden, GER

"Monster licks aside, when viewed as a jazz wellspring, Clouser’s spirit is refreshingly playful, almost to the point of self-deprecation and by mixing innovation and pride he leverages the studio’s lo-fi capabilities to create something more authentically ‘70s than anything I’ve heard recently. Grade: A" - Spike Magazine, Eric Saeger

"The album is a celebration of the rare groove, instrumental rock and funk of the 1970s, with an emphasis on crisp, Curtis Mayfield-like arrangements, and with plenty of space for improvisation......uplifting.... Mexico, it seems, can still weave a restorative magic." - All About Jazz

"On "A Love Electric" Todd Clouser created a great album, that showcases just some of the many sounds of jazz music, he plays some wonderful ballads, Latin jazz... Todd Clouser and his fellow musicians are not afraid to show us the fusion of jazz and rock reminding us of how great it can be when done correctly, as they do it here." - thedjjazzpants.blogspot.com

"filled with a flurry of influences from Hendrix, Nirvana,African tribal drums, to 70's acid/fusion jazz with just a touch of contemporary jazz on top." - Sacramento Press, sacramentopress.com

"Por tercera vez se presentará en nuestro país Todd Clouser, guitarrista de jazz considerado una de los mejores valores contemporáneos. Con una carrera que comenzó muy joven, este treintañero egresado de Berklee ha decidido que su lugar de residencia es Los Cabos." - La Razon - MX City's major newspaper

"One of the great young improvisers of our time" - Calabro Music Media - Various


"What Clouser most certainly done is to free himself up to return to his initial fascination for the electric sound colors that players like Hendrix and Jimmy Page made such an important part of the vocabulary of the electric guitar in the late'60s-early '70s. He goes his own way with those inspirations, injects a healthy dose of the soul-jazz from that era, and works well with Mr. Bernstein as a two-man front line that provides contrast and grits in equal measure." - Gapplegate.com


"Warm and wonderfully realized music" - Check Perrin - Owner - Dizzy's Jazz Club


"Don’t let his young age fool you — Todd Clouser is an accomplished man. At a mere 29-years-old, Todd’s collaboration of 70’s rock and jazz music has been described as “genre-defying.” All the while, he tours the nation and continues to work as a music educator and advocate of the arts" - Sonic Eclectic Magazine, Toronto



"Berklee College of Music grad Todd Clouser is an impressive young guitarist and bandleader whose music draws from retro grooves, rock and modern jazz." - freemusicgroup.com


- Free Music Group



" I like this new CD a lot. Think modern jazz meets 70s-style electric jazz, funk, rock, Latin beats, ballads, and a hint of country. Who says you can’t play it all? Clouser, who graduated from Berklee and makes his home in Los Cabos, Mexico, is a guitarist, composer, producer, reporter, fiction writer and poet." - MINNPOST.COM, Pamela Espeland
- Minnpost



"A young, genre-defying guitarist, composer, and writer, Todd Clouser is an accomplished musician across the modern jazz and rock spectrum, leading a unique path to recognition as an up and coming act, performing with musicians from Keb Mo to "downtown" NYC jazz legend Steven Bernstein. Clouser's impassioned performances run from piano balladry to dense jazz and groove, exciting audiences with an approach meant to bend the rules of artistic labeling. "A Love Electric" documents Todd's most aggressive ensemble yet, an energetic quintet based in the stylings of 70's era electric jazz." - Dakota Jazz Club

- Dakota Jazz Club


"Like Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot, Clouser is a formidable jazz guitarist who doesn't shy away from playing other musical styles." - The Madison Isthmus (thedailypage.com)

- The Madison Isthmus


"From Minneapols, and recently relocated to Baja, Mexico, Todd Clouser is a genre-defying guitarist bringing 70's rock and modern jazz into a new realm" - 91.7 KAXE NPR


"[bringing] new and compelling energy to jazz rock." - Madison Badger-Herald


"Sporting avant flourishes and grooves galore...A Love Electric liberally mixes jazz, funk and rock with compelling results." - Minneapolis Star Tribune


No. 6:
TODD CLOUSER - 'A LOVE ELECTRIC': Clouser goes for a circa-1970 psychedelic pop-jazz groove -- one tune is even titled "Brass Suite 1970" -- that recalls similar albums from that time frame, like Quincy Jones' Walking In Space and Herbie Hancock's Fat Albert Rotunda as well as some liked-minded contemporaries such as the groovy-jazz band from San Francisco, Mushroom. Although Clouser has plenty of background to make a "guitar" record, A Love Electric is more about crafting a style and a mood than the mere execution of chops (although the chops are still there). - Something Else


Phil Putnam - philputnam.com
This piece was written by NYC composer, writer Phil Putnam, August 27 2010 -


Try to make Todd Clouser sit still. It’s a feat. There is an inherent movement, a sense of journey, with music as his constant companion. From his first guitar licks in pre-teen years, through graduation from Berklee College of Music and collision-coursing through rock & roll excess into the energy-driven jazz rock of his current collective “A Love Electric,” he has been in motion across geographical areas and sonic spaces. As a vanguard of a new generation of jazz guitarists who have been equally influenced by rock, hip hop, pop, and the pantheon of jazz legends, his knack for crossing borders is understood and celebrated.

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, guitar opened the door for Clouser at age 11, paired with a brief flirtation with the piano that blossomed into full-blown lust while studying guitar and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. A multi-instrumentalist, as his poignant performances make clear, trading between his mainstay jazz guitar, piano, a Delta Blues style National Resophonic guitar, melodica, and vocals, Clouser's dedication to craft keeps each note, instrument, and genre singing with an honesty that befits a true artist.

The brilliance of Clouser's Berklee days prepared him for the true goal of all young musicians: grasp fame as a U.S. Midwest regional rock star. Clouser rocked the wheat belt in not one but two well-known bands of the early 2000’s until the excessive, unhealthy lifestyle of the scene fractured his faith in the music industry and prompted him to move to Los Cabos, Mexico with the intent of never performing music again.

In Los Cabos, Todd took to teaching music in a school, and recovered the relationship between his creative passion and his sense of integrity. He composed incessantly while embracing Mexico as his new home, where he still resides today, and sought out melodies and musical structures that avoid convention but are still meant for memory. As poignant as ever during this time, he literally claimed music as the eye in his storm when, while Hurricane Jimena raged outside his apartment and killed his electricity, he composed a signature piece on a battery-operated keyboard purchased at CostCo. This piece is gently titled “Jimena.” Moments of inspiration continued to come in his new surroundings, coalescing into a record with pianist Benny Weinbeck, entitled "Baja" featuring another of Clouser's signature, melodic ballads, "Unbreak the Morning". Not long after the recording of "Baja", Clouser was back to performing, this time without preconception.

It wasn’t long before he was moving again. After two years of teaching and respite, he found his way back to the stages of jazz clubs in Mexico and the US and then to festivals and tours in various parts of the world. During this time Todd was introduced to legendary trumpeter Steven Bernstein, a veteran of the "downtown" New York City jazz scene and member of seminal avant-jazz group The Lounge Lizards, who has since become a friend, collaborator, and mentor to him. With his instincts sharp, Todd wrote an album that he hoped would become a joint project for he and Bernstein. This dream stomped into reality as “A Love Electric,” a collective of monster players including Clouser, Bernstein, Bryan Nichols on keyboards, Gordy Johnson on bass, and drums from Greg Schutte and Hernan Hecht. The resulting album is Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, an aggressive, intuitive mash of 70's rock, Curtis Mayfield groove, and modern jazz. A Love Electric offered Clouser a chance to find the truth of his emotion through music, giving him an outlet past his mostly-quiet demeanor to attack with sound and embed his humility, humor, and oddity into the work.

With A Love Electric spinning and humming, Clouser’s wanderlust led him into several other areas of music and creativity, including an organ trio aptly called The Beautiful Organ Trio, and a guitar-based singer/songwriter project known as The Hope Tonic. As a producer, he has credits on 12 national releases from Liquid8 Records. Keeping his adopted home of Los Cabos in tight focus, Todd founded the Arts Day Out Program, which provides performance opportunities, interactive art exhibits, and professional instruction to area youth, and to date has reached thousands of families in southern Baja. He also provides free music instruction, working with Liga Mac and at the San Lucas orphanage Casa Hogar, and writes as a Columnist for several regional newspapers and magazines.

Todd’s care for music is genuine, his love of expression motivating him to fully explore his space in the culture. Whether composing diligently or performing among heroes and legends, he occupies that curious middle ground between his striking talent and his pursuit of humility. In this way, movement is a way of life. The journey is real, and - Phil Putnam - NYC writer/composer


Clouser's impassioned performances run from piano balladry to dense jazz and groove, exciting audiences with an approach meant to bend the rules of artistic labeling. A Love Electric documents Todd's most aggressive ensemble yet, an energetic quintet based in the stylings of '70s-era electric jazz.

Instrument(s):
Guitar, piano, voice.

Teachers and/or influences?
Marc Ribot, Jonathan Kreisberg, David Tronzo, Billy Martin.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard Pearl Jam. I still hear music, new to my ears, that makes me want to be a musician. Evolution and progress, staying committed and letting the rest take care of itself as best as possible.

Your sound and approach to music:
I am not a fan of scenes or genres. I just genuinely enjoy expressing, being playful, celebrating the possibility in music.

Your teaching approach:
My aim in teaching a student of any level is reaching them at a point that can inspire them to explore music on their own. Any long term success, meaning creative integrity, as a musician is dependent on them doing what they love, and having a voice. That quest can only be aided by a teacher, when I have my best moments as a student, it's when I am set free to explore a new set of tools or ideas given to me that I can take to what I like to do.

Your dream band:
I'd love to play with some outrageously eclectic orchestral ensemble. Big passionate Brazilian percussion ensemble, a New Orleans brass section, some Harlem church singers, John Medeski on B; or just play with Tom Waits and feel all that in just a voice and piano.

Favorite venue:
Havana's Jazz Club in San Jose del Cabo. They let me come in and do my thing when I didn't have a thing. It was a gift to develop there. Still happening.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
We've managed to make each record unique, mostly due to the headspace I was in while composing and tracking. I like to get the tracking done quickly so there's an emotion and feel to the record. The "Baja" stuff was most successful at that. There were no overdubs, the playing is sparse and simple, and it was my first record looking at things from a jazz perspective in terms of song from and arrangements.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Thelonious Monk's Straight, No Chaser.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I hope it is honesty. That all comes across in being passionate about— and grateful to—music.

Did you know...
I once was a fine soccer player.

CDs you are listening to now:
Nels Cline Singers;
Miles Davis, Live at the Fillmore;
Bill Frisell/Dale Bruning, Reunion;
Chris Whitley, Perfect Day;
Latin Playboys, Latin Playboys.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
There are so many incredible young players, pushing hard at tradition, and defying labels, its positive stuff. The collapse of the traditional music industry and its packaged approach, or at least its decline, means cats need to get back out and play their instruments. In that sense, there is a bit of a return to personal responsibility, and direction, in young musicians.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Being kind, the decline of the "jazzhole," embracing possibility. That's why I love jazz, it is rich in opportunity. Rules are consistently being bent.

What is in the near future?
We have a tour of the upper Midwest that stretches into October, then it's down to Los Cabos for some residencies and a national tour with some incredible players from Argentina and Mexico. We're going to track an EP down there while on tour, so I'm composing for that. Steven Bernstein is gonna come down and we'll do some shows together in the Baja, which is turning out to be an annual thing.

In the spring I'm working on a new project called Drive By Film, and working on a residency to compose another project called Joy Electric, for a large ensemble, mostly youth players, in California. Hopefully we'll get to the northeast US somewhere between all that, there's a group of guys I need to get with out there.

By Day:
I'm fortunate to play and teach full time.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
train wreck.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Todd Clouser

- All About Jazz


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

 An art rock trio of three nationalities, A Love Electric, hailed as the tomorrow of creative rock by Mexico City's leading newspaper La Jornada, performs at some of the world's finest rock festivals, jazz clubs, and cultural landmarks. Led by guitarist and vocalist Todd Clouser, a voice widely recognized as at the forefront of a new generation of genre redefining artists, A Love Electric carries the traditions of psychedelic rock, NYC's downtown scene, and introspective song into new territories.

The Prague Post calls ALE's sound "blistering". Time Out Barcelona writes the ALE experience is "illuminating". NPR calls Clouser simply "fascinating". The band worked with Grammy winning producer Danny Blume in creating its most recent release,The Naked Beat (The Royal Potato Family 2013). The evolution of ALE into its current state as creative rock supergroup is documented on three records carrying the band's name, but it is the live show that has earned A Love Electric its reputation amongst fans and critics of rock and jazz alike.

A Love Electric is Todd Clouser (guitar and vocals), Aaron Cruz (bass), and Hernan Hecht (drums), Hecht a Latin Grammy winner for his work as drummer and producer. While the three all boast impressive performance credits as individuals, ranging from Hecht with Tim Berne to Aaron Cruz with Lila Downs, A Love Electric has developed a consistent band with a language and vision all its own.

The three musicians, now all based in Mexico City, have performed with John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Anton Fier, Billy Martin, Cyro Baptista, members of Dire Straits, Keb Mo, and more. In there years of aggressive touring throughout the United States, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Argentina, A Love Electric has passed from Ropeadope Records (North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Randolph) to Brooklyn, NY's The Royal Potato Family for a trilogy of releases between 1012 -2013 and onto Billy Martin's label, Amulet Records.

The band now sits with a sound and approach all its own, defying category and inspiring audiences with their impassioned and prolific approach to creating.