Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Julian Lage: Arclight

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Anyone who saw guitarist Julian Lage in concert with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen in 2015 will be equally surprised and delighted by Arclight. On his Mack Avenue label debut: Lage proves himself not just a student of his instrument—as if that needed further affirmation given his previous solo work and collaborations with vibraphonist Gary Burton and guitarist Nels Cline—but an exceedingly fast learner in the art of studio recording.

No question he benefits from ample assistance and not just from his featured instrumental accompanists, though Colley and Wollesen remain in step with each other on from the very beginning of "Fortune Teller" and navigate the twists and turns of the eleven tracks in tandem just as skillfully. But producer and Grammy-award winner Jesse Harris deserves extra credit for the size and clarity of the recorded sound here because that introductory track arises from the speaker (or phones if you choose) with as much presence as magnitude.

And those virtues benefit conventional material like that of "Persian Rug" too, even if the light skip of the trio especially Lage's glimmering guitar, come and go in less than two minutes. The sequencing of Arclight is key to its success because with such an eclectic approach to the inclusion of not only his own material, but selections from the likes of W.C. Handy ("Harlem Blues"), the ebb and flow of mood is palpable. For instance, "Supera," marks a midpoint between the languid likes of "Nocturne" and the chipper gait of the preceding, aforementioned track.

All of which deft movement Lage, Colley and Wollesen no doubt nurtured in concert. Yet it's one thing to navigate the spontaneity of the moment live and another to translate similarly sharp instincts in a studio as captured on the glowing likes of "Stop Go Start." And it's telling that the transitive verbs in that title reappear in the very next track "Activate;" as insinuating as is the sound of such gentle, melodious numbers, the authority in the rhythm work is equal to that in the ever-so-brief dissonance the guitarist injects into the music.

It might sound condescending to call Arclight Julian Lage's coming of age because his previous work, in all its diversity, betrayed little if any lack of confidence or skill. But by the time "Presley" rolls around., the threesome rock with a flourish on "Prospero" and "Ryland" concludes the album with a distinct atmosphere of finality, proving that skill as a bandleader, a talent of dexterity not always a given with the finest players, is now a distinction he can call his very own.

Track Listing: Fortune Teller; Persian Rug; Nocturne; Supera; Stop Go Start; Activate; Presley; Prospero; I'll Be Seeing You; Harlem Blues; Ryland.

Personnel: Julian Lage: guitar;Scott Colley: bass; Kenny Wollesen: drums, percussion.

Title: Arclight | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Radio
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Read more articles
Love Hurts

Love Hurts

Mack Avenue Records
2019

buy
Modern Lore

Modern Lore

Mack Avenue Records
2018

buy
Arclight

Arclight

Mack Avenue Records
2016

buy
World's Fair

World's Fair

Modern Lore Records
2015

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar5Tue
Julian Lage
Le Poisson Rouge
New York, NY
Mar17Sun
Julian Lage
Porgy & Bess
Vienna, Austria
Mar18Mon
Julian Lage
Budapest Jazz Club
Budapest, Hungary
Mar24Sun
Julian Lage
Sala Clamores
Madrid, Spain
Mar27Wed
Julian Lage Trio
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany
€9
Mar28Thu
Julian Lage
Spor 5
Stavanger, Norway
Mar29Fri
Julian Lage Trio
Islington Assembley Hall
London, UK

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019
Read Citizen Album Reviews
Citizen
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By Doug Hall
February 18, 2019
Read Narrow Escape Album Reviews
Narrow Escape
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019