Lage Lund, Terrible Animals Review
By: Elberton Cisnero
Lage Lund is a Norwegian jazz guitarist. He founded a trio and played in local clubs. On a scholarship he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he performed at Wally’s Cafe. In 2002, a grant from the Fulbright foundation gave him the opportunity to move to New York City. In 2003, he entered the Juilliard School scholarship jazz program and graduated in 2005. He won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2005. Lage has developed a healthy discography that includes as a leader and co-leader: 2007: Standards; 2008: Early Songs (Criss Cross); 2010: Unlikely Stories (Criss Cross); 2011: Small Club, Big City; 2012: Four – Live at Smalls (Criss Cross); 2013: Foolhardy (Criss Cross); 2013: OWL Trio (Losen); 2015: Arts and Letters (Losen); 2015: Idlewild (Criss Cross); 2016: Inspired with Rale Micic, John Abercrombie, Peter Bernstein and now in 2019: Terrible Animals (Criss Cross). Lund is joined by Sullivan Fortner: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass and Tyshawn Sorey: drums.
“Hard Eights” kicks off the album with Lund using effects to realize a harmony part as he plays the melody. Grenadier and Sorey are excellent in creating colors under the melody. The form switches between feels, giving the listener plenty to grab onto and enjoy. Fortner solos first, his lines are a joyous mix of modern and traditional lines at first, but than her segues into more adventurous territory, which Grenadier follows with ease. The interlude builds to Lund’s solo. Starting from the beginning with a series of abstract shapes that move across the fret board, the able guitarist lets it be known that he is going for a modern approach. His tone is acoustic and dark, but the notes are clear. After his single lines, Lund plays a serious of interesting chordal phrases to wrap-up his solo. The melody is restated, and the result is an interesting tune that draws upon jazz but delves more into soundscapes and sounds than playing the “changes” per say, which is hip in its own right.
“Ray Ray” has a nice rhythmic figure that begins the tune, Lund proceeds to develop the compositional form. His tone is slightly brighter on this selection. The counterpoint he plays with Fortner is filled with interest. Sorey is all about subtle cross rhythms and coloring the melody with his kit. Lund’s use of guitar effects to create almost keyboard like swells of chords behind Fortner is very pleasing. The band builds the track with a methodical sense of balance. Each phrase builds and opens to more and more exploration. Sorey is delightful on this track! His playing is interactive and supportive all at once. Lund’s solo starts at a low dynamic level as he takes phrases of intervallic shapes and juxtaposes them with small moments of space, that slowly dissolve into long phrases of notes and colors. Again, Sorey is the musical highlights in this statement too.
Lund is building a memorable discography, with the release of Terrible Animals he has added a creatively and harmonically rich listen. A must add to any modern collection.
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Label: Criss Cross