Tech heads and six-string fans need to hear guitarist Jake Hertzog, who makes no distinctions between jazz and rock. While Hertzog frequently flies into jazz and fusion territory, he’s as apt to fling out a Steve Vai-styled solo as he is to enter into an introspective Pat Metheny-esque reverie.

On his sophomore outing, Patterns, Hertzog is backed by drummer Victor Jones, who has extensive jazz credits, and bassist Harvie S. The trio blasts open with up-tempo “Mcjazz,” a McCoy Tyner inspired cut. Another hard-edged creation is “Joining Hands,” which starts with acoustic guitar but builds to a crescendo of layered electric guitars inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

“Dipole” is a tumultuous track ignited by overdubbed distortions, complex rhythmic changes and has a disorienting direction. On the flip side are understated gems like “Wistfully,” an elegant ballad highlighted by Jones’ deft brushwork, and Hertzog’s solo acoustic rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s classic “Georgia on My Mind.”

Grade: A



Patterns is currently available.