Serious fans of guitar may have heard of both Nels Cline and Julian Lage, but many listeners more likely know only one or the other of these guitar giants. The two innovators have very different styles and sounds. Cline is known primarily for his work with Wilco and The Nels Cline Singers, where his compositions function as experimental explorations and push boundaries in many ways; even more so his solo improvisations, which heavily incorporate electronic sounds and unconventional uses of the guitar. Lage, conversely, is known for his technical mastery of the instrument and his very guitar based sound, which ...read more
It's good to be Julian Lage. The former wunderkind is all grown up and living large, playing with some of the best musicians on the planet; that makes perfect sense, considering he's also one of them. The young guitarist has done his homework, paid his dues and earned his stripes, and now he's spreading his wings and flying high. In 2013 alone, Lage hit the road in duo settings with fellow guitarists, like Nels Cline and Chris Eldridge, made the rounds with vibraphonist Gary Burton's New Quartet and drummer Eric Harland's Voyager, and dropped in at the ...read more
This album is the latest of several recordings in which pianist Fred Hersch solos or joins forces with some highly intelligent, advanced musicians to provide jazz renditions with a sophisticated, chamber music quality. Others are Hersch's Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto, 2011); Leaves of Grass (Palmetto, 2005)--an ensemble composition based on Walt Whitman's poems--and two additional solo albums: Fred Hersch plays Jobim (Sunnyside, 2009) and In Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis (Palmetto, 2006). He also collaborated with trumpeter Ralph Alessi on Only Many (Cam Jazz, 2013). On Free Flying, Hersch collaborates with guitarist Julian Lage, who, at 25, has already ...read more
Ulita Knaus, Julian Lage Savoy Theatre Dusseldorf, Germany January 22, 2010 Heavily-hyped guitar wizard Julian Lage must know, as a fresh and youthful prodigy, that his time in the big spotlight could be coming. The experienced Ulita Knaus has already occupied centerstage and is now in a position to concentrate on making timeless music. Together, the pair set a high standard for this year's Jazz Today series tour, which they kicked off with their co-billing. Knaus has an impressive vocal range and is visually attractive. Those qualities can provoke attention in some social circles, but in ...read more
Despite being just 21, Julian Lage has clocked up some impressive credentials. The guitarist has worked with vibraphonist Gary Burton's recent quintet, appearing on Generations (Concord, 2004) and Next Generation (Concord, 2005); appeared with another jazz wunderkind, Taylor Eigsti, on the pianist's Lucky To Be Me (Concord, 2006) and Let It Come To You (Concord, 2008); and collaborated with progressive bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman on Dawg Duos (Acoustic Disc, 1999). As impressive as these works are, none are adequate preparation for the maturity of his debut as a leader, Sounding Point. With an uncanny ability to perform to ...read more
A documentary film made in 1996 centers on an eight year-old guitarist who is already a professional and how he mixes that life with everything else, like family and being a kid. At one point, he's shown playing the guitar behind his neck, a la Jimi Hendrix, adroitly picking a melodic line. At another, he lays down some serious blues licks. A voice off camera inquires, What'cha been listening to lately?"
Lots of Wes Montgomery. Coltrane," the articulate lad intones, matter-of-factly.
The film was Jules at Eight, a 24-minute short by then-fledgling ...read more