Julian Lage

Following his Grammy-nominated 2009 debut Sounding Point, virtuoso guitarist Julian Lage returns with the evocative and finely wrought Gladwell - the second effort by his offbeat, eclectic group with cellist Aristides Rivas, percussionist Tupac Mantilla, bassist Jorge Roeder and saxophonist Dan Blake.

The album unfolds according to a fanciful and story-driven plan, as Lage explains: “We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process.... The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known as Gladwell.... As a metaphor, Gladwell presented us with a clear architecture, to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear.”

Sweeping, colorful and thrillingly executed, the album opens with “233 Butler,” named for the Brooklyn street address of vintage instrument shop, Musurgia. Here and throughout, Lage showcases his group's highly developed rapport and varied, refreshing approach to orchestration, with originals pieces that bring to life the fictional sights and sounds of Gladwell: the train station (”Listening Walk”), the church (”Cocoon,” featuring Blake on melodica - channeling sounds that could be likened to the artsy streets of Paris), the bazaar (”Iowa Taken”). “Some songs specifically identify with particular parts of the town,” writes Lage, “while other pieces simply fit into the overall concept and musical direction. The intention of the music is to encourage the listener, at every turn, to take a step towards the unknown....”

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Herbie Hancock: “Julian, you play with heart, mind, and soul. Where’d you find all this so early in life?”

David Grisman: “I was amazed by the depth of his playing, he’s a real improviser who just goes with the flow. He’s not about anything other than making a beautiful musical statement.”

Gary Burton: “We had to do various takes on different tunes, and it struck me how none of his solos were alike. He was constantly inventive but without a need to show off. His way of proving himself is not by being flashy, but by discovering the meaning in the music.”

Martin Taylor: “My favorite guitar player!”

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Discography

Love Hurts

Love Hurts

Mack Avenue Records
2019

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Modern Lore

Modern Lore

Mack Avenue Records
2018

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Arclight

Arclight

Mack Avenue Records
2016

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World's Fair

World's Fair

Modern Lore Records
2015

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Gladwell

Gladwell

EmArcy
2011

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