For his Blue Note debut as a leader, guitarist Julian Lage reflected on what the storied label meant to him while he was growing up. “All these records that I love so much also have such great songs,” he wrote. “I felt like this was an opportunity to present new music born out of the Blue Note tradition as I’ve interpreted it.” Assembling his current trio-mates, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave Kin, Lage penned nine out of the album’s eleven pieces, setting the mood with the introspective opening solo, “Etude,” which reflects Lage’s desire to create something beautiful and positive for our pandemic-stressed times. His comfort with jazz standards as well as blues and the current rock scene—he’s married to the singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy, and has worked informally with Jeff Tweedy—is evident in the rollicking “Boo’s Blues,” the rapid-fire string-bending title track, and the quiet intensity of “Day & Age.” Sonics are wonderfully balanced, upfront, and crystalline in clarity while capturing excellent instrumental tones and textures; dynamically energetic, the recording also conveys the intimacy of a trio setting, all with terrific detail and a sort of natural ease. A superb and highly recommended Blue Note debut.
By Wayne Garcia
Although I’ve been a wine merchant for the past decade, my career in audio was triggered at age 12 when I heard the Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! blasting from my future brother-in-law’s giant home-built horn speakers. The sound certainly wasn’t sophisticated, but, man, it sure was exciting.More articles from this editor
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