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...

3

Julian Lage: Living Lage

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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 Newport Jazz Festival to play a set with the legendary Jim Hall. With all of his live performances, it's a wonder that he has any time at all to record, but these two documents demonstrate that he's just as busy in the studio as he is on the stage.

The New Gary Burton Quartet

Guided Tour

Mack Avenue Records

2013

Vibraphonist Gary Burton was championing and mentoring Lage before the guitarist was old enough to drive, but that was then and this is now. These days, Burton and Lage are tearing it up together; the student has clearly become a peer.

Guided Tour is the second outing from The New Gary Burton Quartet and the fourth Burton date—following Generations (Concord Jazz, 2004), Next Generation (Concord Jazz, 2005) and Common Ground (Mack Avenue, 2011)—to feature Lage. Together, they make for a formidable front line that can glow or burn; they do both, and a whole lot more, during this ten song program.

Potency and musical intricacy are in the air as the album kicks off with "Caminos"—one of two contributions from drummer Antonio Sanchez—but bluesy banter arrives and dominates on the follow-up tune—Lage's "The Lookout." Burton's "Jane Fonda Called Again" gives Lage a chance to shine out front, as his clean-toned lines draw focus from the start, and the vibes/guitar combination is at play on the head of "Jackalope."

The lone standard on the album—a re-harmonized, Andalusian-encrusted, misty-eyed rendition of "Once Upon A Summertime"—sits in the middle of the program and stands as one of the highlights on the album, but plenty of fantastic music follows it. "Sunday's Uncle," which sounds like a Burton original but belongs to Lage, "Remembering Tano," which has a pseudo-Argentine allure to it, and "Monk Fish," with its fun-and-quirky mannerisms, all deserve high marks.

Burton's "New" quartet isn't exactly new anymore but it delivers fresh and compelling music that reflects its moniker.

Fred Hersch And Julian Lage

Free Flying

Palmetto Records

2013

Pianist Fred Hersch is best known for his solo piano playing and trio work, but he isn't exactly a stranger to the duo format. Over the years, he's done the duo thing on record and/or on stage with everybody from Hall and Burton to vocalist Nancy King and clarinetist Anat Cohen. Now, Lage's name can be added to the list.

On Free Flying, this pair tackles seven Hersch tunes and two classics—"Monk's Dream" and Sam Rivers' "Beatrice." Musical exactitude, emotional weight and the element of surprise are all at play here. Background/Foreground alternation and counterpoint come and go throughout but never work in the same way twice. Sometimes Hersch and Lage are cagey in their dealings, as on "Down Home," but they can also be surprisingly direct, as demonstrated during the touching "Heartland."

Each number gives them an opportunity to show off a different facet of their artistry. "Free Flying" highlights a sense of playfulness and Brazilian buoyancy, "Stealthiness" lives up to its name, and "Monk's Dream" is packaged in nimbler-than-usual fashion; the marriage of clarity and cunning is the only common thread on those three tracks.

Hersch's on-record meeting with guitarist Bill FrisellSongs We Know (Nonesuch, 1998)—was his only guitar-and-piano outing prior to this; maybe it just took him fifteen years to find the right match.

Tracks and Personnel

Guided Tour

Tracks: Caminos; The Lookout; Jane Fonda Called Again; Jackalope; Once Upon A Summertime; Sunday's Uncle; Remembering Tano; Helena; Legacy; Monk Fish.

Personnel: Gary Burton: vibraphone; Julian Lage: guitar; Scott Colley: bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums.

Free Flying

Tracks: Song Without Words #4: Duet; Down Home (For Bill Frisell); Heartland (For Art Lande); Free Flying (For Egberto Gismonti); Beatrice; Song Without Words #3 Tango; Stealthiness (For Jim Hall); Gravity's Pull (For Mary Jo Salter); Monk's Dream.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; Julian Lage: guitar.

Tags

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 Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft Multiple Reviews
Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft
By John Eyles
February 17, 2019
Read The Grammys' Failure To Recognize 2018's Greatest Rock Records Multiple Reviews
The Grammys' Failure To Recognize 2018's Greatest Rock Records
By John Bricker
February 16, 2019
Read Stefan Pasborg: A Drummer’s World of Vinyl Multiple Reviews
Stefan Pasborg: A Drummer’s World of Vinyl
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 5, 2019
Read Big Star: Live-r Than They Ever Were Multiple Reviews
Big Star: Live-r Than They Ever Were
By Doug Collette
February 2, 2019
Read Allison Miller: Modern Jazz Icon in the Making Multiple Reviews
Allison Miller: Modern Jazz Icon in the Making
By Doug Collette
February 1, 2019
Read Winter 2019 Multiple Reviews
Winter 2019
By Doug Collette
January 26, 2019