Jazz guys: Why do I like Julian Lage?

srblue5

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I've heard bits of Lage's playing over the years -- mostly with Nels Cline -- and he's a great player. I just haven't been moved enough to check out his solo work until recently. I picked up his latest album (View With a Room) on a whim and it's very enjoyable. It helps that he has Bill Frisell (one of my favourites and the main catalyst that got me back into jazz) on second guitar, although Lage is more than capable of holding his own (which he does on three tracks on the album).

I do like Lage's tone (at least on this album), as it has a little growl/bluesy grit (and other cliched guitar tone adjectives). Part of why I went off of jazz was when I was playing with some local jazzers in early college days that insisted on the cleanest of clean tones and scorned any overdrive or distortion (to a point where one of them would try to adjust the settings on my amp while we were playing).

Not gonna lie, I am starting to GAS for Lage's signature Collings electric.
 

papa32203

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My wife and I are going to see Mr. Lage on Thursday at the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) in Phoenix. We will be sitting about 20 feet from the stage. I will let you know my impressions after the show, FWTAW...

So, yeah. Saw Mr. Lage last week. He played his Telecaster for all but one song. He did not touch the Collings- it just sat there on it's stand.

The one song he didn't play the Telecaster? Some collector dude walked out mid-set wearing white gloves and handed Mr. Lage one of Charlie Christian's guitars. I don't know what the song was he played, but it was nice. He was obviously moved to be playing such an historic instrument. No strap- he sat down for that one! He did not drop it....

It was a good show- all new material, some of which was slightly challenging to listen to, in that "somewhat complicated jazz kind-of-way". Great guitarist, great band.

I was really fascinated by the drummer. Would love to play with someone who can do so much while playing so quietly...
 
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ruger9

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Interesting that he didn't play the Collings AT ALL... he has been playing it pretty exclusively lately (ever since he got it), so I guess it was just time for a "change of scenery" for awhile.
 

redhouse_ca

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Lage seems cool and isnt codger Jazz but I feel nothing from his playing.
i'm kinda with you on this. I saw him last week and the drummer was off the charts good and the bass player right up there and as a trio, it was a great show and I enjoyed it a lot but he was the least memorable of the three. I think you hit it on the head, great chops but I didn't feel much from his playing. This is gong to lose me some cred here but he kinda felt like the john mayer of jazz, he had the cannon down cold but for his thing, I didn't feel it.
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

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I can relate to Mr. Lage. Growing up, most jazz guitarists had those enormous jazz boxes and I sat
there with a Fender Telecaster as my jazz tool. Julian has brought jazz to the guitar masses and regardless
of what guitar one has, jazz can be played on all guitars. Best of all worlds with jazz, rock and roll, blues
and jazz makes you "listen" better. Hats off to JL.
 

chris m.

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Technically not jazz, but certainly with jazz-worthy chops: Cory Wong is the artist and band leader whose music and performance gives me the full "feels". One of the best live shows out there touring today, IMO. It all comes down to the music that makes you feel good, and we all have our preferences. I humbly offer this as an example of extremely admirable band chops, technically and harmonically....but where the music still has a very accessible groove that musicians and non-musicians alike can fully appreciate.

The Force of the Minneapolis Sound is strong in Jedi Master Cory, very strong.

 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

Somewhere in here is a post on another thread where I say something to the effect that I just don’t get Mr. Lage.

Well, fast forward to now, and I do. At least, I get him from a listening / enjoyment perspective - from what others have said in various threads, it’s clear I don’t get him on a musical theory perspective :)

If you watch enough of him, you'll see him laugh with it, grieve with it, fight with it, cuss it out, seduce it and roll on the floor wrestling with it.

Yes, I love this aspect. And this is why I enjoy so much some of the YouTube clips of him. Well, one aspect of why I enjoy them so much.

We all have different tastes. Some of the music that some love, that moves them, that they say swings, grooves, whatever, just leaves me cold. Folk like some stuff, not other stuff, and at times it can seem inexplicable to the opposite camp. Same as it ever was. No biggie.

Pax/
Dean
 

ASATKat

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Just use your ears. Metheny can play anything and does, but he's much more open to soloing over major triads than most jazzers, who want to add the extensions all the time
Just use my ears? Dude, I can't compete with your absolute superior insights.

Not
 

monkeybanana

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Technically not jazz, but certainly with jazz-worthy chops: Cory Wong is the artist and band leader whose music and performance gives me the full "feels". One of the best live shows out there touring today, IMO. It all comes down to the music that makes you feel good, and we all have our preferences. I humbly offer this as an example of extremely admirable band chops, technically and harmonically....but where the music still has a very accessible groove that musicians and non-musicians alike can fully appreciate.

The Force of the Minneapolis Sound is strong in Jedi Master Cory, very strong.


Speaking of Wong and Lage :)

 

monkeybanana

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So, yeah. Saw Mr. Lage last week. He played his Telecaster for all but one song. He did not touch the Collings- it just sat there on it's stand.

The one song he didn't play the Telecaster? Some collector dude walked out mid-set wearing white gloves and handed Mr. Lage one of Charlie Christian's guitars. I don't know what the song was he played, but it was nice. He was obviously moved to be playing such an historic instrument. No strap- he sat down for that one! He did not drop it....

It was a good show- all new material, some of which was slightly challenging to listen to, in that "somewhat complicated jazz kind-of-way". Great guitarist, great band.

I was really fascinated by the drummer. Would love to play with someone who can do so much while playing so quietly...
Was it his actual refinished Fender? I haven't seen him or videos of him playing it live in some time. He did record with it. Just curious if he brought it back out as he normally plays his Nacho now if not the Collings.
 




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