Jake Hertzog Saturday, October 24th Midnight at the Iridium

Jake Hertzog is a jazz guitarist of and for the 21st century. While jazz guitarists of the 30s 40s and 50s drew their inspiration from Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian, players in the 60s 70s and 80s were influenced by those luminaries as well as people like Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Kenny Burrell and Les Paul. The next two decades found jazz guitarists listening to and playing like Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Joe Pass and Grant Green. Players in this century are mainly influenced by Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and people outside the jazz orbit like Jimi Hendrix. As a result they sound much different from their predecessors on the instrument – and I must confess there are some tracks on this CD outside my comfort zone. Nevertheless, there is so much wonderful music to savor that I can give this CD my highest recommendation. Hertzog's original compositions – particularly "Oberon" and "Lullabye for a Dreamer" are tuneful and imaginative and are likely to be discovered and performed by other jazz groups. Three selections feature pianist Michael Wolff, one of the outstanding pianists on today's jazz scene who seems right at home with Hertzog's songs. Michael's solo on "Nectarine" is one of this CD's many highlights. Bassist Harvie S demonstrates why he is one of the most in-demand players in jazz and latin music. Harvie has it all - intonation, creativity and a superb sense of time. His solos should be must listening to allaspiring young bassists and people who just enjoy hearing a great bass player. As for drummer Victor Jones: He and Hertzog have a special empathy -

Jake is a member of Victor's popular group Culturversey and on this CD Victor gives the proceedings, the spirit, fire and inventiveness that he gave to performances with Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Getz. Then there is Jake's tender and heartfelt rendition of the standard "Falling in Love with Love" and finally I must mention the groups treatment of "In Your Own Sweet Way", my favorite track. This is quite simply the finest performance of this Brubeck classic that I have ever heard. Jake Hertzog is 22, a Berklee graduate and recipient of the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival's Grand Prize in the Jazz Guitar Competition. Jake can be seen performing with The Naked Brothers Band and has performed with them on national television shows such as Good Morning America and ABC's The View, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and NBC's TODAY show. In November 2008 Highlights in Jazz featured Jake performing with guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, 60 years his senior. The two bridged the generation gap and found a common musical ground that left the audience cheering. I feel certain that guitarists in the next decade will be citing Jake Hertzog as one of their major influences. Listen to this CD and I am sure you will give it a space on you CD shelf alongside your other favorite jazz guitarists.” -JACK KLEINSINGER

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