With his fourth solo venture, nascent New York-based guitarist Jake Hertzog beckons the services of celebrated jazz trumpeter, Randy Brecker. His conspicuous synergy with longtime associates, bassist Harvie S and drummer Victor Jones is true to form on a set that highlights an uncanny blend of harmonically appealing content and edgy jazz-fusion extravaganzas, heightened by Hertzog's judicious use of distortion techniques.
Throwback represents a significant level of maturity attained by this young artist, largely owing to a host of memorable compositions. Brecker's presence, among other positives, instills a sequence of glaring contrasts and vibrantly enacted discourses. But Hertzog's noteworthy technical abilities reside in his broad jazz vernacular and many-sided approach, where he unifies Wes Montgomery-like chord solos with stinging single note leads. At times, he takes on the role of a pianist via his clustering phraseology.
The band spawns a great deal of impact, regardless of tempo. For instance, "Entropy," is engineered with a straight-four heavy backbeat, featuring Brecker and Hertzog's brash unison lines. At times, the musicians produce a big sound, as Hertzog fills in the gaps with twirling chord voicings that divulge a potpourri of layered mosaics. And Brecker often soars into parts unknown with his oscillating vibrato- drenched passages. Moreover, the trumpeter's stout union of power and fluidity remains a constant throughout. Yet on the core trio ballad "First to Rise," Hertzog propagates a solemn melody line with bluesy and probing extended notes, casting notions of veiled optimism. Nonetheless, Throwback emerges as a major milestone in Hertzog's young career.
Track Listing: All Over Now; Cleared To Fly; Is It Summer; Entropy; Hands On; Sending
Home; Sweet Moon; First To Rise; Throwback.
Personnel: Jake Hertzog: guitar; Randy Brecker: trumpet (1-2, 4 6, 7, 9); Harvie S:
acoustic and electric bass; Victor Jones: acoustic and electric drums.