Arclight (album)

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Studio album by
Julian Lage
ReleasedMarch 11, 2016 (2016-03-11)
Recorded2016 (2016)
StudioBrooklyn Recording, New York
GenreJazz, jazz blues
LabelMack Avenue Records
ProducerJesse Harris
Julian Lage chronology
World's Fair
Mount Royal

Arclight is the fourth solo album by American jazz guitarist Julian Lage. Two tracks were given a prerelease, "Nocturne" and "Harlem Blues".[1][2]


Arclight was recorded on a Telecaster,[3] which is not generally considered to be a jazz guitar. Lage stated in an interview that "the electric guitar was always so fascinating to me, and my guitar heroes played it...Stevie Ray Vaughan...Clapton or whatnot—Muddy Waters."[3] While most of the tunes on the album are originals, there are several "pre-bebop" compositions, from "before things got kind of codified and slick and refined", in Lage's words.[3] Lage said he enjoyed such tunes mostly because of the chord changes, what he described as a "slippery approach to basically fundamental harmony".[3]

"Nocturne", one of the pre-release singles, was an old Spike Hughes composition. Lage said he liked this tune because "it starts on this minor chord,'s very hard to find...songs that weren't major, that weren't happy, that weren't just total dance music".[3]

According to Lage, the chord progression played on "Harlem Blues" (a W. C. Handy composition) was inspired by Willard Robison's chord changes for the song, slightly different from Handy's simpler progression.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz (Troy Collins)[4]
All About Jazz (Doug Collette)[5]
The Irish Times[6]

Critical reception was generally positive. Troy Collins of All About Jazz called it a "brisk but bracing affair",[4] while Doug Collette of the same publisher noted "Lage proves himself not just a student of his instrument...but an exceedingly fast learner in the art of studio recording."[5] Collette praised producer Jesse Harris, saying "Harris deserves extra credit for the size and clarity of the recorded sound here because that introductory track arises from the speaker...with as much presence as magnitude."[5]

Irish Times critic Cormac Larkin said that the album had "echoes of Bill Frisell and particularly Jim Hall",[6] the latter being one of Lage's major influences.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions written by Julian Lage except where noted.



Chart (2016) Peak
Billboard Jazz Albums[8] 5


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  2. ^ "Julian Lage's "Harlem Blues"". Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Jazz Guitarist Julian Lage On 'Arclight' And Shifting Musical Genres". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Collins, Troy. "Julian Lage: Arclight". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Collette, Doug. "Julian Lage: Arclight". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Larkin, Cormac. "Julian Lage – Arclight: guitar virtuoso finally goes electric". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  7. ^ Gray, Ben. "Julian Lage Trio - 'Arclight'". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Arclight - Julian Lage | Awards | Allmusic". Retrieved 26 June 2016.