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12/28/11

Jake Hertzog
Evolution
Buckyball Records

This young guitar hotshot showcases torrid licks along with sophisticated harmonies and advanced fingerstyle picking in a trio setting with bassist Harvie S and drummer Victor Jones. Tunes like “Don’t Bother” and “Firefly” develop gradually from intimate arpeggiated melodies to all-out distortion-laced bombast. The wah-wah-laden “Timeline” and the edgy “Renegade” are chops-oriented jams, and Hertzog reveals his jazzier side on “Gloria,” which contains some of his most mind-boggling fingerstyle playing of the session. For a decided change of pace, there’s his Heartland-ish melody “Common Ground,” his spacious, ECM-ish “Sleep Closer” and an appropriately introspective take on Bruce Springsteen’s poignant “Streets of Philadelphia.”

Originally published in December 2011
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