May 24, 2024

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CD review: Julian Lage – Love Hurts 2019: Video, CD cover

Love Hurts marks guitarist Julian Lage’s third trio date for Mack Avenue. The previous two, Arclight (2016) and Modern Lore (2018), were with bassist Scott Colley and drummer/vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen. The Love Hurts sessions were inspired by some live dates where Lage and bassist Jorge Roeder (who worked with Lage on 2009’s Sounding Point) were joined by Bad Plus drummer Dave King. The trio recorded at the Loft (Wilco’s recording studio in Chicago).

Lage set down his trademark Telecaster for this date and picked up Jeff Tweedy’s Gretsch Duo Jet instead. Cut live from the floor in mostly first takes, these ten tracks — produced by Lage — were completed in a day and a half.

The program is exclusively made up of covers ranging from rock to jazz and country,all completely rearranged by Lage. Set opener “In Heaven,” is a shadowy ballad penned by Peter Scott Ivers. Lage slowly and purposefully articulates the melody one ringing note at a time while Roeder engages in swirling arco pulses before King shuffles in and shifts the tune toward a slow blues. Next is a fleeting, intensely fast read of Ornette Coleman’s “Tomorrow Is the Question,” also begun as a duet between the guitarist and drummer in near bop cadence before Roeder adds his quick walking bass line and it begins to swing. It’s followed by a storming, wildly imaginative version of “The Windup” — the first of two Keith Jarrett tunes included. Lage draws connections between Jarrett’s music and combines it with vintage-sounding country and rockabilly. (One can hear traces of Pat Metheny and Danny Gatton alongside Lage’s trademark phrasing.) Later the trio takes on Jarrett’s “Encore A,” commencing with King’s solo funky drum breaks. The flow between ringing, slightly distorted guitar, a slippery, bumping bass line, and rock and funk drum grooves is infectious. “Lullabye,” is one of two originals included; it’s a lilting, atmospheric Americana-esque track with gorgeous bass and drum interplay. Jimmy Giuffre’s classic “Trudgin” is given an unusual arrangement that commences as noirish, rootsy blues and moves into dramatic, spiky dissonance and ringing, spacy psychedelia. The title track is a reverent yet emotionally redolent reading of the Boudleaux Bryant number covered by everyone from the Everly Brothers, Gram Parsons, and Scottish hard rockers Nazareth. Lage plays each lyric note attentively, as if he is listening for something hidden. His solo is also built on the theme and articulates it with multi-stringed voicings and open strings. The guitar break in his own “Circles” is where he dazzles listeners with his string-wrangling dexterity and improv chops. He offers a playful, multi-hued version of the standard “I’m Getting Sentimental over You” followed by Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” delivered with the sensitivity of a singer; he expands the tune’s dynamic frame by engaging pop, squalling guitar rock, country, and jazz with an illuminating and playful creativity.

Of all the records in Lage’s catalog, Love Hurts sounds like it was the most fun to make; in turn, it is a complete delight for listeners.

  1. In Heaven
  2. Tomorrow Is The Question
  3. The Windup
  4. Love Hurts
  5. In Circles
  6. Encore (A)
  7. Lullaby
  8. Trudgin’
  9. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
  10. Crying

Julian Lage – guitar 
Jorge Roeder – bass 
Dave King – drums

Картинки по запросу Julian Lage - Love Hurts

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