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Guitarist Jerry Heinz goes it entirely alone on his recent release Day At The Lake ; playing multi-tracked guitars and all other instruments (primarily light drums and percussion) as well as handling all the composing, producing, and recording tasks. It’s a program that would have done well as part of the Windham Hill catalog during its earlier years. His reverberated twelve-string creates an open, airy feeling that does indeed suggest a cold, crisp day at a northern lake or perhaps a cloud-shrouded mountaintop. He often favors shifting block chords with interesting voicings rather than single-note melodies, and phrases tend to align rigidly into two-bar segments. The mood stays medium-tempo, mellow, and contemplative throughout, and quite honestly, the format is interesting during the first part of the program but grows tiresome as the disc plays on. On the closer, “Preacher Brown’s Waddle,” Heinz cranks up the reverb a little more and adds a clumsy, family-room organ to the mix. The pitch bends and sags uncertainly (suggesting the waddle, I suppose) giving the song a distinctly amateurish sound. This tune would have been better omitted, or at least it shouldn't be the last thing you remember. The rest of the CD would probably work best as a backdrop for easing into a Sunday morning while sipping coffee and reading the paper. For more info, visit www.smoothjazzguitar.com.
Track Listing: Day at the Lake; Blackhawk Down; Juke Jibe; Upwind; Sit