JULIAN LAGE Modern Lore LP Vinyl NEW 2018
Roger The Dodger
Whatever You Say, Henry
On 'Modern Lore', Julian Lage's second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen.
It finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, 'Arclight'. This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.
Opening with the exuberant "The Ramble," Lage's set of all-original new material is largely up-tempo, though on tracks like "Atlantic Limited" and "Splendor Riot" the trio adopts a hypnotic, lyrical stride. And, on "Revelry" and "Pantheon", it grows more pensive. Throughout, the beat is concise and steady. Lage's solos are action-packed musical monologues, stuffed with brilliant melodies and off-the-cuff inspiration. The penultimate track, "Earth Science", is an outright scorcher.
As one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Lage has long displayed an ability to explore a wide range of sounds, ideas and genres. But what delights him here - and will, in turn, captivate his listeners - is the artful simplicity of Modern Lore.
"There's a disarming spirit of generosity in the musicianship of Julian Lage, and a keener sense of judicious withholding. A guitarist with roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music, he has spent most of his life bathed in a bright, expectant light." - The New York Times