It's clear from the first notes of guitarist Lage Lund's Early Songs that he's an unwavering acolyte of classic jazz. This excellent quintet recording is an inspired, energetic blend of standards and contemporary tunes grounded in the hard-bop tradition.
. Lund displays fire and vibrancy on "You Do Something to Me," playing riffs and building ideas as clear as a bell. The band's version of Bud Powell's contagiously cheerful "Celia" has excellent interplay among Lund, pianist Danny Grissett and bassist Orlando LeFleming. And Jim Hall would smile at the perfect romantic pitch with which Lund plays the ballad "Quiet Now," the mood enhanced by drummer Kendrick Scott's tender cymbal whispers.
The group stretches out more on newer pieces like the hard-driving "Scrapeyard Orchestra" and "Poppy." On both, Marcus Strickland gnashes at the upper register on his gritty tenor while Lund lays down some intense, flowing notes. Strickland also plays a sweet soprano on "Around the World in a Bottle" and the mischievous "Vonnegut," a composition with an intriguing split personality. The band meshes perfectly on "The Incredibly Profound Song," an ambitious and wonderfully arranged tune where every band member stands out.
Lund's straight-ahead style is the mark of a self-assured musician, confident without the need for affectation. All he does is tell pleasant stories with character and clarity. Lund's effortless and masterful playing gives the band an excellent lead to follow and the overall cohesiveness and sound makes Early Songs an easy winner.
Track Listing: Scrapeyard Orchestra; Poppy; You Do Something To Me; Vonnegut; Around The World In A Bottle; Quiet Now; Celia; The Incredibly Profound Song.
Personnel: Lage Lund: guitar; Orlando LeFleming: bass; Danny Grissett: piano; Kendrick Scott: drums; Marcus Strickland: tenor and soprano saxophones.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.