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Julian Lage and a sweet Collings

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by CJM3309, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. CJM3309

    CJM3309 Tele-Holic

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    I came across these two videos last night and wanted to share them. I know this man has put in hours and hours and hours to get to where he is now. Still, his facility on the instrument just boggles my mind. It all looks so effortless and he looks like he is so in the moment and enjoying everything. It is a pleasure to see really and a good boost of inspiration and motivation. I'll never achieve those playing heights, but I immediately picked up my guitar after watching.

    I also really like the guitar he is playing, which is his signature model apparently. I have not seen him on this model until these videos. The orange one really reminds me of the Gretsch Country Roc guitar, which I think is my favorite model of guitar ever. I do not think I'll every own one, but a man can dream. It also looks good in black and sunburst which was on another video. So anyways, just wanted to share.



     
  2. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    yea he is a fav of mine no matter what guitar he is playing or what style of music he is playing. i saw him and bill frisell at royce hall a while back and everyone i went with said it was one of the most amazing concerts ever. of course, royce hall is incredible too!!

    play music!
     
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  3. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    He’s special. And that guitar ...
     
  4. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    Love this guy. Can't wait for the new album!
     
  5. televillian

    televillian Tele-Afflicted

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    I love to watch him play because he obviously enjoys it. wonder how many videos he has to make in exchange for the Collings ? a lot I hope
     
  6. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    he's amazing but i guess the context matters for me somewhat - if he had come around in the 70s or 80s i think he would have just absolutely destroyed everyone/changed the game, he has extremely good taste, but i feel like he's a little too late to the party with the kind of music he plays.

    he's sort of in this grey zone for me where i appreciate the time he's put in, or the statements he makes, and like listening to him play pieces from time to time. but for whatever reason i don't particularly want to listen to his records. but then again, i'd definitely go see him live if i got the chance. his music is sort of like when you go on a date with someone who has your ideal looks, but you don't hit it off conversationally.

    he's still young and the stuff he does with nels is pretty out there, so i always keep tabs on him. he's one of the hyped modern guys that i feel is absolutely no BS - i can't think of a single contemporary that is more proficient than him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  7. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    love this demo though, it’s like electric takemitsu or something

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That Collings is basically a Gretsch Jet- where Gretsch Jets are chambered solid body guitars, the Collings is a hollow body, with a single 4" wide trestle brace down the center... so construction-wise, it's somewhere between a hollowbody and a center block. But I have little doubt it was modeled after his '53 Gretsch Jet he has been playing for a few years. But it IS a bit different...
     
  9. 421JAM

    421JAM Tele-Meister

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    You could be right. But he’s no more late to the party than any other guitarist or jazz oriented artist that has emerged in the last decade.

    On his own, he probably has limited appeal. But the Nels connection puts him in front of the Wilco fan base. That crowd is not exactly the new generation of music fan, but it is supportive of Wilco adjacent artists. He also collaborates with bluegrass players, and that genre manages to maintain a sizeable audience and appreciation for young talent. Then there’s his connection to the indie singer-songwriter world through his wife, Margaret Glaspy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a foothold in the jam band universe at some point. So I’d say he’s got more than enough bases covered to keep himself well and comfortably employed.

    He won’t be a household name, but what new guitarist is?
     
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  10. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You know what I love about him? He sounds like himself. He's not a "regular" "standards" jazz player... the world has plenty of those, both currently and in history. Lage is more of a free player, especially in recent years. Which is very refreshing in this canned music world we currently live in, even amongst many jazzers. I don't need to hear a standard version of "Play Misty For Me" or "Days of wine and roses" or "All the things you are" again... but hearing someone like Lage take them somewhere else, well it's a treat. I have been a big fan of Jim Campilongo for years, and I think he is in this camp as well, altho 95% of his output is original music. It's the daring to go someplace new that's the big turn-on, for me.

    WHO plays jazz on a Gretsch Jet (yes yes it's a Collings) - the BRIDGE pickup?!?! Julian Lage, that's who.

    Collings 470JL -> JHS Morning Glory v4 (low gain) -> Magic Amps Vibro-Deluxe (DR clone) w/OxBox.

     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  11. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    yeah for sure, no more late to the party than others, but subjectively i think he's substantially better than a lot of others. he makes someone like kurt rosenwinkel sound dull. he sort of fills a lot of voids of inside-outside stuff that the guitar has been lacking in, and we never truly had a sam rivers or something of the guitar, you know?

    comfortably employed sure, but i'm interested in seeing how far he'll take it. nels had a whole career of doing cool outside stuff before he "settled down" in wilco. i think the types of moves lage does are too good to waste on some NPR sounding bluesy/americana or rock-y jazz tunes.
     
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  12. 421JAM

    421JAM Tele-Meister

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    I agree with all of that. I see what he’s doing as somewhat similar to what Medeski, Martin, and Wood does. Not that he sounds like them. But that he makes music that usually feels very accessible, but instead of standards (which he does do sometimes) he’s more likely to do an Ornette Coleman tune, or something more like rock or funk. And like MM&W, he does it in a way that appeals to different types of audiences.

    Everyone tries to pull that off, but Julian sounds more natural than other artists I’ve heard. The Bad Plus is an example. They are talented guys, and their drummer is in Julian’s trio, but those guys come off as forcing it with their gimmicky jazz versions of Nirvana and Black Sabbath songs.

    Julian is much better positioned at this point in his career than Nels was. Before Wilco, Nels was already 50 or so, and had never been a full time professional musician and was so chronically broke doing his outside stuff that he almost gave up on pursuing music as a career. So it’ll definitely be interesting to see how Julian’s career plays out.
     
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  13. 421JAM

    421JAM Tele-Meister

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    I meant to add in my previous post (but it started getting too long) that I agree about Rosenwinkle. He can play, for sure. Nothing against him at all. But so far I haven't heard anything of his that makes me want to keep coming back.

    Another guitarist like that that I recently checked out is Wolfgang Muthspiel. I bought his album Angular Blues a couple months ago because I saw that Brian Blade was on drums and Scott Colley (who has worked with Julian and Nels in various projects) was on bass. A top shelf band. But there's just something about it that doesn't draw me in.

    I don't know what the missing element is. Its probably better not to be able to nail it down. But whatever it is, that element is present when I hear Lage, Frisell, most of Marc Ribot's stuff, most of Nels' stuff.

    Maybe the players I like the most just sound to me like they're having more fun than other players.
     
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  14. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There was another JL thread just recently, based around the below virtual live show he did quite recently. He plays a Sam Rivers piece starting around 8:00 in that's definitely worth checking out. He's out but funky too - an irresistible combination for me. For my taste, out works better when it's also rooted in some underlying funk to come back to. If the theme is out and the improv is out, I got nothing to hold onto and I have to be in a REAL specific mood to enjoy that. But when there's a funky place to call home, launch from there and I'm with you all day. MMW was a good analogy - totally different, but kind of using a good funky basis as a launch pad.



    -Ray
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  15. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You know, I can only listen to Frisell in small amounts. And I was listening to Frisell way before Lage. There's just something ... IDK... "random"?... about Frisell, for me. Hard to explain. Nothing against him, I like him, but I can listen to alot more of Lage than Frissel. And I REALLY prefer Lage's SOLO guitar work- all the stuff he videos from home. He should do an album of solo guitar. (Actually, my 1st Frissel album was "Solo"... the one recorded in the church)

    And yes- the "fun element" is blatantly obvious with Lage. It's like, pure joy on his face.
     
  16. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    For me, this is where alot of Frissel's stuff, and most recently, Jakob Bro's stuff, comes in for me. It's more like soundscapes than songs. (altho there's ton of improv, the theme/structure is virtually non-existent)
     
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  17. 421JAM

    421JAM Tele-Meister

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    I can relate to that. Some of Frisell's stuff doesn't connect for me, for similar reasons. Particularly his earlier stuff. If he's playing with a trio, particularly anything circa Gone Just Like a Train from the late '90s or later, for me that's the sweet spot. That one, East/West, the new one. I can listen to that stuff all day, and his solo playing is fascinating to me.
     
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  18. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  19. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    ruger9's post #18 - link > Premier Guitar interview w/Julian Lage -

    The topics JL is thinking about are shaking me up - Zen saying: The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
    for starters!

    I see Premier Guitar uses the term "black-panel" Fender amp to avoid an incidentally offensive-sounding term.

    JL doesn't need me to say anything about his creativity and virtuosity; fwiw I'd love to hear his genius in an "inside" setting e.g., a My Fair Lady pit orchestra; sometimes his next, then NEXT cleverer substitution loses me. I'm not his target demographic though :)

    ok - gear angle now - JL's center block Gretsch-like Collins has sort of a spiritual ancestor in Guild's George Barnes model Acousti-Lectric - a different way for a hollow-body to avoid feedback. Check it out (btw no piezo's involved!) -

    JL's producer mentions George Barnes' tone as part of the artistic choices.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021 at 2:09 PM
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