Release date: March 24th 2009
Availability: CD, MP3 Download
Announced as a child protégé on guitar and cutting his teeth in Gary Burton's Next Generation, "Sounding Point" is Julian Lage's debut album as leader. His musical relationship with pianist Taylor Eigsti has been blossoming of late with acclaimed performances as a duo and with Julian Lage making a significant contribution to Taylor Eigsti's album "Let It Come To You". But with "Sounding Point" the idea of free flowing improvisation in duo / small group settings is taken much further.
In addition to duets with Taylor Eigsti on "Tour One" and on Miles Davis' "All Blues", there are three tracks featuring an innovative trio with Chris Thile (mandolin) and Bela Fleck (banjo). There is also a quartet line-up on most of the remaining tracks featuring saxophone (Ben Roseth), bass (Jorge Roeder) and tabla/ percussion (Tupac Mantilla). The quartet is augemented by cello (Aristides Rivas) on the two opening tracks. On two further tracks, the approach is solo guitar. Noticeably, there is not a single straight jazz line-up on display.
Photo credit: Michael Kurgansky
The absence of a conventional drum kit leads to an open sound and approach that places the emphasis on free improvisation and highlights Julian Lage's prodigious technique.
It takes great confidence for musicians to open up their playing in this way; it is a high-risk strategy with nowhere to hide. But the results are spectacular, producing jazz of great subtlety, bending the genre, taking in at times bluegrass, straight ahead jazz, Americana, Indian and classical elements.
Clearly a breakthrough album that would be expected to be a strong challenger for album of the year.
To preview and purchase "Sounding Point" on CD at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Sounding Point" on MP3 at amazon:
Streaming audio at:
Julian Lage MySpace page
Taylor Eigsti / Julian Lage MySpace page
Review: Taylor Eigsti "Let It Come To You:
RETURN TO: Jazz New Releases
RETURN TO: Main Page
Jazz at amazon.com