Nels Cline & Julian Lage: Room

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Artist: Nels Cline & Julian Lage
Genre: Jazz
Label: Mack Avenue

Miles Davis once famously advised John McLaughlin to play “like you don’t know how to play the guitar”. It is with a somewhat similar spirit that you imagine guitarists Nels Cline and Julian Lage sat down to concoct this delightfully liberated duo recording.

Not that there isn’t plenty of technique on display from these two very different guitar masters, but there’s also a childlike delight in the potential of the instrument.

The 58-year- old Cline, best known for his role with indie rockers Wilco, freely admits that playing with the virtuosic 26-year-old Lage “kicked my ass hard”, but the feeling was clearly mutual.

There are nods to Jim Hall and echoes of the great Ralph Towner/John Abercrombie duo, but Room is as fresh and creative a meeting of two musicians as you'll find.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director