Published Jul 01, 2014What do you get when you take two masterful instrumentalists with very divergent stylistic outputs and put them in a studio to play together? The answer to that lies in very different contexts. Nels Cline is known for his more aggressive electric style, and Julian Lage is a pretty amazing acoustic/electric traditionalist in the jazz vein. Room is where Cline meets Lage on Lage's turf. Can Cline play that way? Yes.
Does Lage seem to be locked in fourth gear eschewing fifth? Sadly, yes again. I have a recording of Ravi Shankar playing with a group of Japanese master instrumentalists and the result is an exercise of wary politesse. This recording is somewhat reminiscent of that feel, and ultimately sacrifices fire and emotion to an exchange of notes. (Norman Records)