With a fusion of jazz, rock and soulful blues, Paul Wertico features blazing guitars atop propulsive rhythms for his second trio album. The Chicago lineup works well together with empathy, while performing original compositions from each of them. The drummer-led unit drives through a variety of familiar rhythms, including classical ostinatos, ride cymbal swings, and a New Orleans shuffle.
John Moulder’s Duke Ellington-like swing feature on "Liftoff" settles in with a lyrical message that crosses genres easily. Similarly, Eric Hochberg’s melodic bass on "The Visit" provides a universal message; this one surrounded by mood-altering, eerie effects.
The trio’s innovative combination of sounds normally found in hard rock arenas makes a bold statement about the crossroads facing modern jazz. However, the session falters in places, allowing the formula to become tiring. Such is the case on "Long Journey’s End," where rock-styled guitars, bass and drums carry repetition beyond the usual limit. Wertico, an articulate drummer, solos too often throughout the program. And yet it’s the drummer who pulls it all together with subtle changes in rhythm and drive.
If a rhythm-maker can grab you like Ravel’s "Bolero" would – even while the repetition drones on – then he’s held your interest long enough for you to tie together the sweeter parts.
Clybourn Strut; The Underground; African Sunset; The Visit; Liftoff; Long Journey's End; Taliaville; Justa Little Tuna; Testament
Paul Wertico: drums, percussion; John Moulder: guitar; Eric Hochberg: basses, guitars, trumpet
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.