Program Notes © 2015 by Mary Fairchild

Julian Lage, guitar
Scott Colley, bass
Billy Mintz, drums

Jazz at the Maverick

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 8 pm

The program will be announced from the stage.


Sunday, August 16, 4 pm | Trio Solisti
Music by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms

next week

Saturday, August 22, 6pm | Chamber Orchestra Concert: Maverick Chamber Players,
Alexander Platt, conductor; Maria Todaro, soprano; Stephen Gosling, piano;
Emmanuel Feldman, cello, Members of the Aurea Ensemble

Music by Robert Starer, Benjamin Britten, and Henry Cowell
Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite and Manuel de Falla᾿s El Amor Brujo

Sunday, August 23, 4 pm | Ariel Quartet with Thomas Storm, baritone
Quartets by Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky
Samuel Barber's Dover Beach for string quartet and baritone



Hailed by All About Jazz as “a giant in the making,” guitarist Julian Lage grew up in California and was the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, Jules at Eight. He gained pivotal early exposure as a protégé of legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, recording and touring with Burton on two projects: Generations (2004) and Next Generation (2005). Other recent high-profile sideman appearances include Lucky To Be Me and Let It Come To You by a longtime friend and close collaborator, pianist Taylor Eigsti. Having reunited with Gary Burton for live engagements beginning in 2010, Julian can also be heard as a member of the New Gary Burton Quartet on the CD Common Ground (featuring Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez).

With his previous album Sounding Point, Lage arrived at a unique approach to composition and ensemble craft, a searching yet accessible sound that earned him his 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. The music was “a major find,” declared Time Out New York: “springy, intelligent chamber Americana that fits perfectly into a spectrum of Nonesuch-style players like Bill Frisell and Chris Thile᾿s Punch Brothers.”

His second effort is Gladwell, also with an eclectic group including cellist Aristides Rivas, percussionist Tupac Mantilla, bassist Jorge Roeder, and saxophonist Dan Blake. Lage says of the album: “We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process.... The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known as Gladwell.... As a metaphor, Gladwell presented us with a clear architecture to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear.”

As with Sounding Point, Gladwell reflects Lage᾿s wide musical interests and talents, which range from chamber music, American folk, and bluegrass to Latin, world, string band, and modern jazz. The album includes solo guitar pieces, including versions of the standard “Autumn Leaves” and the folk song “Freight Train.” On three of the solo songs on the album, Lage multitracks three parts on a 1926 Martin 00-28 acoustic guitar. A student of the Alexander Technique, Lage treated these recordings as a study in the relationship between kinesthetic awareness and improvisation. “When you hear these pieces, you᾿re hearing a physical movement,” he explains. “You᾿re hearing an opening in me and the instrument that happens to be coming through a musical vehicle. I᾿ve been learning that you don᾿t always have to broadcast what you᾿re feeling when it comes to performing and recording; so long as you experience the moment as fully as possible, you can trust that the microphones will pick it all up.”

Lage᾿s recent trio appearances with master fiddler Mark O᾿Connor (also collaborating with O᾿Connor᾿s group Hot Swing) and bass giant John Patitucci have only strengthened the imprint of Americana and acoustic music on his work. In fact, Lage᾿s recording debut was in 1999, when at age 11 he played on Dawg Duos, with David Grisman, Vassar Clements, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck, and others. “Those were my heroes,” Lage marvels. (He went on to recruit Fleck for three tracks on Sounding Point.)

Whether he᾿s playing his Linda Manzer electric archtop guitar, writing with his rare 1934 R.A. Mango, or choosing the 1932 Gibson L-5, Lage brings a purity of tone and consistency of attack to everything in his repertoire.

Scott Colley is the bassist of choice for such jazz legends as Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, and Michael Brecker. His remarkably empathetic skills, strong melodic sense, and improvisational abilities have served him well in groups. Colley has flourished in recent years as composer and bandleader in his own right, as evidenced by a string of recordings, beginning with his 1996 debut Portable Universe, and continuing with This Place, Subliminal, The Magic Line, Initial Wisdom, Architect of the Silent Moment, and the 2010 release Empire.

Appearing on more than two hundred albums to date, Colley has worked with a variety of musicians, including guitarists Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny and Adam Rogers; saxophonists Michael Brecker, Chris Potter and Clifford Jordan; pianists Herbie Hancock, Kenny Werner, Edward Simon; and drummers Brian Blade, Antonio Sanchez, Bill Stewart and Roy Haynes.

Scott began studying bass at age eleven. After graduating high school he was granted a full scholarship to the California Institute for the Arts, where he focused on composition and jazz studies while also studying privately with Charlie Haden and classical bassist Fred Tinsley of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1986, he began touring and recording with jazz vocal legend Carmen McRae and in 1988 graduated Cal Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree.

For five years Colley toured extensively as a member of Herbie Hancock᾿s working trio at concerts around the world as well as playing concert engagements with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He has held teaching residencies at the Banff Center, Virginia Commonweath University, and Vallekilde (Denmark), and made European and US tours with his own trio and quartet.

Drummer Billy Mintz was born in Queens, New York. By the age of fifteen he was developing his musicianship and playing in the show bands of the Catskill Mountain resorts. In his twenties, he played and recorded with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Perry Robinson and Badal Roy, the Eddie Daniels Quartet, Gloria Gaynor, the Steve Tintweiss Quartet, and the Harold Danko Quartet.

In the 1980s, Mintz relocated to Los Angeles, where he performed with the Mike Garson Trio, the Kim Richmond Sextet, the Bobby Shew Quintet, Joey Sellers’ Jazz Aggregation, and the Vinny Golia Quartet. He also performed several times with Mose Allison, and did a stint with the Merv Griffin Show band. Mintz toured Japan with the Los Angeles Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, and toured Europe with saxophonist Charles Lloyd and bassist John Patitucci.

Throughout his life Mr. Mintz has taught privately and in clinics at schools around the world, including the Berklee School of Music, NYU, California Institute of the Arts, North Texas State University, the Dick Grove School of Music, the Musikgymnasium in Innsbruck (Austria), the Long Island Drum & Percussion Club, Arizona State University at Tempe, and the University of Arizona at Phoenix. He also taught extensively while on tour in Sydney, Australia; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Wellington, New Zealand.

Mintz has written two books: Different Drummers and Advanced Sticking and Sight-Reading. His articles have been published in Not Just Jazz and Modern Drummer magazines. In recent years, he has taken on new roles as a bandleader and composer, and he gives solo drum set performances on both coasts of the US as well as internationally.

Program Notes © 2015 byMary Fairchild