Review: Julian Lage’s ‘Consult with Me’ Is a Deep and Multifaceted Album from the Younger Master

It hasn’t been straightforward conserving note of the peaceful-younger jazz broad Julian Lage the final 5 years. Prolific in the unparalleled, he has launched trio albums that comprises him on electrical guitar along with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King (Esteem Hurts, 2019; Squint, 2021); a web site of magnificent acoustic duets with guitarist Gyan Riley playing Jewish folks–impressed objects by John Zorn (The Book Beri’ah Vol. 4—Chesed, 2019); the trio (with Lage again on electrical) augmented on a handful of compositions by guitarist Invoice Frisell (Note with a Room, 2022); an EP addendum to that venture that entails a pair of tracks of Frisell and Lage playing acoustic (The Layers, 2023); and a masterful acoustic trio date with reeds memoir Charles Lloyd and Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain (Lloyd’s Trio of Trios, 2022). 

Julian-Lage-Speak-To-Me album cover
Julian Lage, Consult with Me (Blue Display cloak Records)

Whether you’ve been out of the Lage loop or you’re merely Lage-uncommon, his latest album, Consult with Me, feels fancy the very best automobile to stumble on his apparently boundless skills as a participant, collaborator, and composer. The 13-note, one-hour web site covers an amazingly huge differ of kinds and totally different instrumental configurations, including solo acoustic; the trio with Roeder, King, and Lage playing both electrical or acoustic (and both on one composition); and several other objects where the sound is extra filled out with contributions from Levon Henry on saxophone or clarinet, Patrick Warren on varied keyboards, and Kris Davis on piano. 

The unparalleled musician/producer Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Aimee Mann, Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Rhiannon Giddens) helmed the periods at Brooklyn Recording (engineered by Ticket Goodall) and expertly captured every nuance of the straightforward chemistry of the totally different groupings. Lage wrote the complete album—the bones of the tunes—nonetheless it absolutely is the mixed improvisational wizardry of the avid gamers, taking note of every totally different and reacting, following the collective muse, that makes this web site so compelling and worthy. 

“Discuss To Me”

You by no components quite know where a portion is headed—the starting put no longer ceaselessly looks to foretell the heart or the end—or how the musicians are going to work along with every totally different, or who will with out warning reach to the forefront and dominate, if most practical possible in fast. Naturally, Lage’s guitar is the most famed inform, and his playing, as at all times, is as technically faultless because it is a ways imaginative, keen with out considerations from rapid-fingered flights to pleasing ballad spaces to jazzy/bluesy grooves to unpredictable discordance. 

Nonetheless the entire avid gamers bag their potentialities to stand in the highlight, and the album is also laced with subtle instrumental touches that don’t basically expose consideration nonetheless add so powerful color and texture—a background organ wash, the resonant rumble of a low alto clarinet, a brushed snare, atmospheric Wurlitzer, vibraphone, or keyboard strings. There’s loads occurring internal these objects, with many containing magnificent tempo and rhythm modifications and textural shifts, nonetheless they by no components the truth is feel cluttered; there’s at all times room to breathe. There are delicately etched melodies (“Hymnal,” “Serenade,” “Myself Spherical You”), chugging rhythmic workouts (“Northern Trot,” “Consult with Me,” “76,” “Two and One”), catchy tunes (“Omission,” “Tiburon,” “Nothing Occurs Right here”), a dollop of stale-fashioned folks (section of “South Mountain”), and even one which sounds fancy it’ll also were a jazz same outdated in the ’40s (“As It Were”).

“Nothing Occurs Right here”

Lage performs acoustic guitar on 9 of the tunes: his shiny signature Collings OM1A JL on six and a wonderfully heat 1930s Gibson L-0 on three. And his orderly, largely distortion-free electrical lines reach courtesy of a Nachocaster (guitar maker Nacho Baños’ contemporary model of a vintage Fender Telecaster) and on one, a 1960s Epiphone Coronet.

Whenever I’ve listened to Consult with Me it has revealed new issues and a brand new favourite note has emerged. That’s high praise, richly deserved. Don’t let this album pass you by!

Acoustic Guitar magazine cover for issue 347

This article on the starting put appeared in the July/August 2024 enviornment of Acoustic Guitar magazine.

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