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Jake Hertzog: Well Lit Shadow

Dan Bilawsky By

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A suite for solo electric guitar that takes inspiration from images of particle collisions isn't exactly your garden-variety jazz release. But, then again, Jake Hertzog isn't your garden-variety jazz guitarist. Over the course of the past decade, Hertzog has established himself as a powerful and unique voice on his instrument. He's worked out his own brand of fusion, made his mark in jazz settings, crossed into rock realms with The Young Presidents, served as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band, penned a plethora of articles for Guitar Player magazine, and shared his wisdom as an educator through online videos and at institutions in the United States, Europe, and beyond. So given all of that background, which clearly indicates that diversification is one of the pillars upon which Hertzog has built his career, it should come as no shock that he would try something as different as this.

Well Lit Shadows presents ten tracks—a forty-seven second introduction and nine titled movements ranging from slightly over two minutes to just over four minutes in length. Each and every one of them brings multiple elements and ideas into play, balancing space, sound, and movement while attempting to depict the varied and random dances and interactions between particles. Prickly thoughts and moments of disarray are part of the journey, but so are purely peaceful statements and meditative seas. Randomness and stability are both stakeholders in the suite, contributing to this unique complex of sound sculptures.

While there are certainly highlights to be found here—the dark schemes of "Color Detection," the slow and compelling developmental arc of the title track, and the brittle strums and dread-laced sounds of "Cable Cars," to mention a few—Well Lit Shadow is a work best taken whole. This is a one-of-a-kind album bent on focusing large scale thought on the smallest bits of matter, and focusing on a single track would just take away from the beautiful big picture.

Track Listing: Introduction; Star Drops; Color Detection; Well Lit Shadow; Trace Of You; Cable Cars; What We Found; Balsamic Layer; Telegram From A Quasar; Ever Unseeable.

Personnel: Jake Hertzog: guitar.

Title: Well Lit Shadow | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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