Jake Hertzog, Evolution

January 18, 2012
Jake Hertzog is one of the finest young jazz guitarists on the scene, and his two previous albums were chockablock with intriguing and even startling passages that signaled a fresh approach to the idiom. On his latest release, Hertzog goes for a rockier and more accessible sound, with leaner and less-complex arrangements and greater emphasis on melody. That said, the tunes are still far from smooth jazz or lite rock fare, and Hertzog can’t resist venturing beyond the velvet rope of stylistic safety for long, as demonstrated by the wildly frenetic and dissonant solo on “Gloria,” the chaotic intensity mid-way through “Renegade,” and the brooding moodiness of “Sleep Close.”  Buckyball.
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