on 11 August 2009
Julian Lage is a very intresting new act in the modern jazz music. This debut solo album it's very impressive, and Mr. Lage (21 years old) shows a very deep knowledge of jazz musical language and guitar playing. Tecnically unexceptionable, all compositions are supported by detailed booklet's notes that show the interest in bringing music near visual arts. There are several intresting cues in which Julian's jazzy guitar is matched with banjo, mandolin, as well as piano and double bass creating a very deep ensemble. I strongly suggest to jazz players and lovers to carefully listen to this beautiful album.
on 4 March 2016
I would very rarely want to give an album 5 stars, there is always something that could be better. I nearly wanted to give this 5. At first I was a bit disappointed by it, as some of the tracks are for ensemble, some are solo, some are a duo with piano, and some are for a trio of guitar banjo & mandolin. I found this a bit frustrating - I felt like I wanted to hear a whole album of (e.g.) that last trio. I guess as this was Lage's first album, he was wanting to include the various line-ups he was playing in at the time. Having got over this initial frustration, I've found this a deeply enjoyable album. In general I think only fans of guitar music will really be interested in it. I like it now that this paints a picture of someone at the beginning of their career. In some ways Julian doesn't quite have the fluidity/fluency of guitarists like Abercrombie / Scofield / Metheny, but he also seems to have something that most other guitarists don't. He is such an all-rounder: you can hear classical guitar in there, and Indian music, jazz and country and folk (not really rock though). You can view lots of videos of him on Youtube and make your own mind up. That's what I did for a while, until it occurred to me to buy an album! And I'm glad I bought this one - immersing yourself in a cd by Julian is well worth it I think, if you're a fan of the guitar. One of the things I love about him is that he's so open-minded. He loves melodic traditional music, but he's also very open to the experimental / avant-garde as well. This doesn't mean he creates 'crossover' albums as such. His music seems grounded in the traditional, whilst keeping an ear open to all possibilities. It's as if he's finding it a fascinating journey, and he politely invites us to share in it. I'd really like to think in 10 or 20 years time he will have kept developing, and he'll be looked on as one of the great guitarists. A criticism though: you almost need a microscope to see the names of the other musicians on this album. Some pictures of them and their names written a bit larger would have been nice.