Music Reviews
Julian Lage

Julian Lage

View with a Room

Blue Note Records

Ah, the pure, simple sounds of a jazz virtuoso who can deliver a lilting tune, only to have you realize it’s a complex musical construct that layers crazy time signatures and odd chord progressions so smoothly you never think, “how the heck can he do that?” That’s Julian Lage, a youngish man with 14 albums under his belt as well as 25 credited “side man” slots ranging from Yoko Ono to Charlie Lloyd.

Here we have a decade of tracks, all smooth and complex yet oddly relaxing. “Auditorium” is a good entry to this project. A busy yet unobtrusive rush of work backs up a complex melody that’s aimed more at confusing and delighting the listener. A single guitar string punches out a counterpoint, and listening to it recalls a childhood of chasing butterflies but never quite catching one.

A few tracks down the playlist we meet “Chavez.” I see no politics here, rather a prancing melody that slides under the rug and reflects on the curtains. It’s a speedy song with riffs that delight you only to flee up the scales and out the window and sneak back in under the doorsill.

It’s jazz, all right, jazz as equally accessible to the experienced reader of Down Beat as it is to a newbie fresh off the Spotify playlist jag. Great material, great execution, and no fooling around: this is a top-notch collection for one and all.

http://www.julianlage.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Creation Rebel

Creation Rebel

Features

High Above Harlesden 1978 - 2023 from On-U Sound collects 60 dub and reggae tracks from Creation Rebel, an astounding set of musicians.

The Valiant Ones

The Valiant Ones

Screen Reviews

One of the last of the classic wuxia swordplay films stands as a fitting coda to the grand period of the genre. Phil Bailey reviews a new Blu-ray release of the 1975 film The Valiant Ones.

Best of Five

Best of Five

Screen Reviews

Not everyone can be excited by blocks spinning on a screen, but if you are, Ian Koss recommends you pay attention to Best of Five.

CAKE

CAKE

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier shoots a CAKE headline show at McGrath Amphitheater.