Transmissions :: Julian Lage

Welcome back to Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions, our weekly series of illuminating interviews and contextual conversations. This week on the show, guitarist and composer Julian Lage. On his latest album, the Blue Note release Speak To Me, Lage often presents himself as something of a singer/songwriter—minus the singing, that is. Joined by a five-piece band and producer Joe Henry, Lage careens from jittery free jazz to classic West Coast pop, maintaining a careful flow that feels generous but considered, diverse but not haphazard.

Julian Lage: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

During a recent set with the Nels Cline 4 at the Musical Instrument Museum, guitarist Julian Lage couldn’t stop smiling. It was a repeated sight. Whether aggressively dueling with Cline or offering supportive chords, Lage appeared to be having the most fun. That joyful spirit is also audible on his latest record as a bandleader, Love Hurts. Working with drummer Dave King (of the Bad Plus) and bassist Jorge Roeder, the set was cut mostly off-the-cuff at the Wilco Loft, and it’s a beautiful, layered testament to spontaneity.