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Lage, Julian - Love Hurts

SKU 34-MACK 1148
“This third Lage trio outing, LOVE HURTS, is a program of shifting and nuanced moods. On my initial listening, I found the album to be more somber overall in ambiance than its predecessors, perhaps because its opener, "In Heaven," has a minor-keyed noir atmosphere which seems to linger, but on subsequent plays, I had a somewhat different impression, becoming more aware of lighter, happier moments, provided by "Tomorrow Is The Question," "The Windup" and "Encore (A)". Perhaps I would describe LOVE HURTS as being the most understated in the trio series, which is in no way intended as a criticism. Notably, Julian is joined here by, for the first time, bassist Jorge Roeder (familiar, however, to Lage followers) and drummer Dave King -- replacing, respectively, Scott Colley and Kenny Wollesen. The new rhythm section cooks no less deliciously -- only making use of different ingredients.
Just to offer the things that stand out most to me about the album:
Julian's playing, which I believe his many admirers have always appreciated for being, among other things, virtuosic but never gratuitously so, seems here to have become still more distilled; there is literally never a throwaway note -- they all have meaning and purpose.
The set list, once again, illustrates Julian's resistance to being categorized stylistically and entirely democratic manner of choosing material. A country-tinged Boudleaux Bryant number amidst Ornette Coleman or Keith Jarrett quicksilver jazz? -- why not? An idiosyncratic Jimmy Giuiffre concoction alongside a tune popularized by Roy Orbison ... with trombonist Tommy Dorsey's theme song thrown in, too? -- by all means! Julian continues not to give us what we want but, rather, to make us like what he gives us.
As a guitar player and one with a special fondness for the Gretsch brand, I couldn't have been happier to learn shortly before the album's release that Julian had discovered Gretsch and employed a Duo Jet in the studio. The DeArmond Dynasonic pickups manage, here and there, to overlap some of the more familiar Telecaster's twang, but additionally provide more muscle and, I think (though I may be biased) a more complex sound, which suits the album's material.
Finally, my favorites from the album are, at least now, "In Heaven"; "Encore (A)"; "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and the both stately and searing title cut. Julian's two compositions, "In Circles" and "Lullaby," too, are beautiful, although I find them more abstract than most of his writing on MODERN LORE.
Following Julian's extraordinary career for years now, I've learned not to anticipate a heralded new release with preconceptions, or any expectation -- other than to be mindblown. I have yet to be disappointed.”
  • LabelMack Avenue
  • UPC673203114821
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