Julian Lage ‘Modern Lore’ Vinyl/CD (Mack Avenue) 3/5

Guitarist Julian Lage is another young Turk out to conquer the world of jazz and he is heard here in a trio setting with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wolleson who also doubles up on vibraphone. The leader’s musical influences take in electric jazz guitarists such as Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny and especially the sound of John Scofield. There is a country-folk feel to both the opener, ‘The ramble’, with nice melodic interplay between the musicians, and to the gentle, reposing piece, ‘Atlantic limited’, with fine rim-drum work from Wollesen. For fans of jazz-rock, the drum propelled groove of ‘General thunder’ will impress, while in stark contrast, a lovely lyrical duet between bassist and guitarist ensures on ‘Wordsmith’, and indeed it is this more introspective side to Lage’s work that this writer would like to hear more of on future releases. Some of the self compositions need to be stronger lyrically, but there is nonetheless a good deal to praise equally, as on ‘Rodger the dodger’, where the influence of Frisell is once more felt and country-folk-blues does suit this guitarist down to the ground. A definite case of work in progress on this talented young guitarist.

Tim Stenhouse