Starting with the cover painting channeling Rothko via Paul Klee (credited to quartet music and the producer of the record Vinny Golia) we know we're in Ralph Towner's ECM territory here except neither of those two entities plays a part in this output from 1984. From Nine Winds Records, with Alex and Nels Cline, Eric von Essen on bass, and Jeff Gauthier on violin, this quartet features three compositions by Essen, a group improv, and one piece each from the Clines. I hope I don't step on any toes in comparing the versatile Nels with Ralph Towner, but especially on track 3 (Blood of the Rose) he sure sounds like Towner with the hard arpeggios and surprising dissonant chords on acoustic guitar. His twin brother Alex plays percussion.
Quartet Music's first album is well worth seeking out as well, it's a little bit more accessible in songwriting than this second effort which clocks in at just under 50 minutes -- for some, almost an hour's worth of agony, for others, a small taste of true heaven.