Via Chicago, my answer to your questions is an emphatic "yes." Nels is the best guitarist rock n' roll has to offer.
For those so inclined, I highly recommend the following Nels solo LP's:
Nels Cline Trio- Chest
Nels Cline Singers- Instrumentals
Nels Cline- The Inkling
Also highly recommended is Mike Watt's self-described "punk rock opera," which is called Contemplating The Engine Room. It's a trio effort with Watt on bass and vox, Stephen Hodges on drums and Nels playing some totally brilliant guitar. I know some of you are familiar with this record to varying degrees, but go back and revisit it today... great playing, great narrative, great people too-- I met 'em freshman year at NU.
I'm embedding the first track, "In the Engine Room." There's a bookend introduction, but you'll hear the song's awesomeness in due time.