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When it comes to jazz virtuoso JulianLage, you’d be hard-pressed to find an electric guitarist who uses less gear. “Any time I’ve [used too much equipment], there’s an awkwardness where I’m still grappling with the fact that I play here,” he says, gesturing to his guitar, then gesturing to his amp, “but the sound comes out there.” He continues, “It sounds like a joke, but it’s been a struggle for me. Any time there’s layers or filters or anything, I feel dissociated.” Of course, Lage’s rig, which buoys his clean, no-frills tone, makes sense for a musician like himself—whose playing often comes across fluidly, and as gently as his personality.
For Lage, that fluidity stems from his conception of music as a language. “I think that the way people speak is often more unfettered,” Lage told Premier Guitar in 2021. “There might not be an obvious correlation between the way people speak in a lecture and the notes on the guitar. But it's just a little stretch of the imagination to see that those are pitches, those are rhythms, those are phrases."
On View with a Room, Lage’s second release on the hallowed Blue Note Records, he’s offering a fresh, bold continuation of the conversation he’s created over the years. The album features his latest ensemble, made up of himself, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Dave King—but this time, he’s added the legendary Bill Frisell. Together, the musicians help to expand Lage’s body of work with performances of 10 of his original compositions.
While on tour for the album, Lage invited PG’s John Bohlinger to the soundcheck before his show at Brooklyn Bowl inn Nashville to share his insights into why he likes a straightforward rig and “honest” tone. In the interview, Lage elaborates on his three main guitars (his Nachocaster, Collings signature, and ’55 Les Paul), explains why he prefers low volume on his amps, and offers a remarkably brief tour of his pedalboard.
00:00 - D’Addario XS Strings 00:15 - Julian Lage Intro 00:59 - Nachoguitars 1657 “Nachocaster” 07:18 - Collings Julian Lage 470 JL 13:07 - 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop 18:00 - Magic Amps Vibro Deluxe 21:25 - Julian Lage's Pedalboard
Rig Rundown: Julian Lage
Julian Lage 新譜アルバム「View With A Room」Blue Note Records / UMG Recordings, Inc.から2022年9月16日発売。
Julian Lage - View With A Room
1. Tributary 2. Word For Word 3. Auditorium 4. Heart Is A Drum 5. Echo 6. Chavez 7. Temples Steps 8. Castle Park 9. Let Every Room Sing 10. Fairbanks