Julian Lage (guitar)
Jorge Roeder (bass)
Dave King (drums)
As an eight-year-old, guitarist Julian Lage was at the center of the Oscar-nominated short documentary Jules at Eight. A year later, Carlos Santana brought him onto the concert stage in front of thousands of spectators. Instead of playing a gimmicky, rehearsed guitar lick, Lage listened calmly and placed his notes tastefully in the right place.
Now 30, Lage has played with a host of other greats. Jazz heavyweights like Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Jim Hall are among them as well as banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck or mandolin ace David Grisman.
Lage has retained his sense of musical economy as well as his curiosity. As a member of avant-gardist John Zorn's troupe, Lage could be experienced in Vienna as an improviser rich in ideas. The musician, who grew up in California and now lives in New York, has long since dispelled the suspicion that he is merely a virtuoso traditionalist. He is a proven master of the acoustic guitar, as can be heard on solo albums and duet recordings with the innovative bluegrass musician Chris Eldridge or Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. For the album "Arclight" (2016), however, Lage not only turned to the classic jazz trio format, but also surprised everyone by reaching for the Fender Telecaster. The longest-serving mass-produced electric guitar is more of a rarity in jazz, but it's always the instrument of choice for soul-mate boundary-pushers like Bill Frisell or Marc Ribot. With his Telecaster and with Jorge Roeder on bass and Eric Doob on drums, Lage now performs in a trio. Lage's new album "Modern Lore" evokes the spirit of early rock'n'roll. What Lage already practiced as a precocious child still applies to him today, whether live or in the studio: Why race across the fretboard when a few notes courageously formed at the right moment will do.
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