Opposite to the practices of a few of his guitar-playing friends, Julian Lage is a real traditionalist: his entire guitar rig is supremely streamlined, and he’s been identified to favor solely a small collection of very particular electrical guitars.
The guitars Lage is mostly related to embrace a Fender Telecaster and, unsurprisingly, his Collings 470 JL signature guitar. As for acoustics, he’s the holder of a Collings OM1 JL signature guitar.
There’s one other guitar, although, that Lage has been noticed with within the wild all through the previous few years, and one which has essentially the most unlikely of backstories: a classic 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, which carries the signature of Les Paul himself. Not solely that, it was gifted to Lage by Spinal Faucet’s Christopher Visitor.
Chatting with Premier Guitar, Lage recalled how Visitor – an in depth buddy of his with whom he shares a “related sonic palette” – first purchased the classic piece in 1982, and used it as his predominant guitar whereas touring with Spinal Faucet in 1984.
“Years in the past I used to be at his home, and I performed this guitar,” Lage defined. “I sat down and performed it and we each have been like, ‘That is the good jazz guitar sound,’ enjoying by way of somewhat Princeton.”
He went on, “I really feel perplexed for a way grateful and lucky I’m to play this, however I’ve at all times saved it considerably of a secret, as a result of it’s my nature, I suppose.”
As for what he cherished particularly about this Les Paul, Lage described it as a “convergence” of his Telecaster and Collings guitars – a philosophy he duly demonstrates with a complete run-through of each the LP’s mellow tones and his virtuosic enjoying.
“I really feel very very like a steward of it,” Lage stated of his guitar. “I’m studying play it consistently. As a participant, it’s so luxurious. The overtones are clear, the facility within the low-end is obvious, it doesn’t get higher.”
Although Lage doesn’t get into the signature that may be discovered on the physique, it may be deducted that Les Paul himself signed the guitar for Visitor someday after ‘82, with the inscription studying, “To Chris.”
Lage’s Les Paul will be noticed in a handful of the jazz virtuoso’s movies, with the guitarist utilizing it again in 2021 to cowl Johnny Mandel’s Emily. The Visitor-gifted guitar has additionally seen motion on Lage’s Instagram account, cropping up in quite a few improv clips and that includes in a video of him training I Ought to Care.
So far as guitar present tales go, this has bought to be up there with the wildest. to assume Lage crafts his elegant, crystal clear jazz traces on a Les Paul as soon as utilized by Christopher Visitor – aka Nigel Tufnel – in a fictional heavy rock band is fairly arduous to wrap your head round.
Nonetheless, it’s testomony to the Les Paul’s final versatility, because it clearly excelled in offering the beating coronary heart of a lot of Spinal Faucet’s music, and greater than caters to Lage’s generational jazz tones.