Julian Lage is much more than just a jazz musician. While his musical foundation is rooted firmly in the world of bebop and swing, his playing encapsulates the full breadth of 20th-century American music. The ghosts of Eddie Lang, Skip James, Doc Watson and Elizabeth Cotton haunt his vintage Martin 000-18, with which he creates a sound that is distinctly modern yet deeply indebted to the American folk music tradition.
Guitar virtuoso Julian Lage makes his solo debut with World’s Fair on February 3, 2015. Co-produced by Matt Munisteri and engineered by Armand Hirsh, World’s Fair was inspired by the orchestral approach to the guitar of the great Andres Segovia and by the music of the early 20th Century, of “jazz before be-bop." “I always had a fantasy about doing a solo guitar project,“ says Lage, known for his musical collaborations most recently on Avalon (10/2014) with Punch Brothers’ Chris “Critter” Eldridge and Room (11/2014) with Nels Cline.
If your day is missing some gorgeous guitar work, with lovely tone and virtuosic dexterity, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re premiering “Stone Cross” by Julian Lage and Chris Edridge from their new album Avalon, release October 7.
Frank Zappa famously proclaimed that “jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny.” And while that certainly may have been true in the fusion heyday of the 1970s and '80s, there's a younger breed of jazz musicians making music that is forward-looking but far less odorous. Here are five videos of contemporary jazz guitarists you should check out.