@@@ Julian Lage: Squint (Blue Note, 2021) I got to this young jazz guitarist’s record via the best jazz records of 2021 up on Slate right now. The question before us is not whether he can play like a motherfucker but whether he plays anything interesting. He’s got a very non-jazz tone for the guitar, he sounds like he’s a coupla hops away from a rock band. And I dig his tone, it modernizes the affair. The first piece is a pretty sweet solo piece called Etude. The second track called Boo’s Blues brings in the rhythm section and he sounds pretty close to Stevie Ray Vaughan in the beginning of this track. I don’t believe he’s gonna shred here, as in hit the stomp box and let the shit fly. This is for people with jobs. Ooh, he’s heating up I could be wrong! Noop it never happened. I skipped to the title track (the whole record is clipped below) Squint and this is the most interesting track of the three I’ve sampled as he’s coming undone. It still remains solidly in the straight jazz neighborhood and I would love to see his shit get even jankier than what’s on display here but it doesn’t look set to happen. Everybody in their lanes, that’s ‘Merka these days. Even the jazz hipsters are pretty conservative.