Musical collaboration is nothing new, especially in the world of jazz. Often, though, when two giants of the same instrument convene, their performances devolve into one-upping duels of technical showiness. Impressive? Sure. Interesting? Not really.
What a refreshing pleasure it was, then, to witness the thoughtful interplay of Nels Cline and Julian Lage at Cleveland’s Nighttown in June of 2014. The duo, coming soon to Mercyhurst, clearly enjoy the musical conversation their dueting inspires. Cline, best known as Wilco’s riff-meister, and Lage, a child prodigy who just keeps getting better, have the sort of telepathic connection that makes even the most complex melodies warmly engaging. Their mutual admiration is evident; and if jazz is “the sound of surprise,” Cline and Lage epitomize it beautifully. They just seem to enjoy listening to each other, and discovering what each will come up with next. Now we’ll get to discover it, too. — Katie Chriest
7:30 p.m. // Walker Recital Hall, Mercyhurst University, 501 East 38th St. // 824.3000 // miac.mercyhurst.edu/