Michael Doherty's New Review of Throwback!

Check out Michael Doherty's review of Throwback!


Jake Hertzog is a phenomenal guitarist who combines jazz and rock music on his trio albums. His LATEST RELEASEThrowback, features Randy Brecker joining the group on trumpet and flugelhorn on most TRACKS. It’s an excellent album, full of masterful and joyous playing by all four musicians. Harvie S is on bass, and Victor Jones is on drums. You might know Victor Jones from his own band, Culture-Versy, or from his work with Stan Getz. Harvie S has also worked with Stan Getz, as well as many other artists over the years, including Steve Kuhn. These are musicians who are at the top of their game, and have an obvious passion for what they do. And you can hear it on every TRACK of Throwback. All of these tracks are originals, written by Jake Hertzog.

The CD’s first TRACK, “All Over Now,” opens like the guys have already been playing a while and are about to settle into a really sweet groove, which they do. The band wastes no time, and Randy Brecker’s lead on horn has a kind of sweet beauty, setting the way for some thoughtful playing by Jake Hertzog at the beginning of his lead guitar section. And then things get really delicious. I love that this tune is exploratory without being messy. If you’re into really great JAM MUSIC, you should check out this tune (and the entire album, actually). Moments of this TRACK remind me of, say, the very best of what Phish does during an epic jam. I love this track.


It’s interesting that Jake Hertzog’s OPENING lead part on guitar on “Cleared To Fly” sort of serves as a base for Randy Brecker’s horn to play over. I love that guitar part. And the rhythm section of this song makes it one to get you dancing. Harvie S and Victor Jones are really cooking here. There are some wild moments of unrestrained joy especially as it builds to the end. And then on “Entropy,” there is a section a few minutes in where Hertzog and Brecker are doing a little give-and-take. It’s fantastic, and is done over an absolutely wonderful groove, all then building to something wild and alive.

“Hands On” is one of my personal favorite tracks on this CD. The sense of play is enchanting, and the guitar work is so impressive, even mesmerizing at moments. This track is the trio, and all three musicians really shine here. I especially love when the bass emerges out of this explosion to take a lead spot.

“Sending Home” begins as a SLOW, quiet, mellow piece, and Brecker’s horn provides an emotional voice rising up first as if in supplication or hope, and then in rapture at its own power. This track is truly moving, uplifting and beautiful at times.

Throwback ends with its title track , a bright-feeling tune with a good rhythm. This track just makes me feel good, and I love what Brecker does here.


Throwback was released on November 12, 2013 through Zoho MUSIC.


Jake Hertzog Band to Rock Jazztravanganza!

Jake, with his all star band featuring Harvie S, Richie Morales and special guest Ingrid Jensen is set to return to the Clarion Theater in Lake Jackson Texas to perform at their festival, Jazztravanganza!



Jake Hertzog


What: The Jake Hertzog Band

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21

Where: The Clarion at Brazosport College

Tickets: $20

By Forrest Hartman

When guitarist Jake Hertzog brings his jazz quartet to The Clarion on Nov. 21, he knows he’ll be part of something special.   

“I think that theater(The Clarion) is such a fabulous place, and I think it’s a wonderful thing to have in the community,” said Hertzog who has played the Clarion twice before (once with the Michael Wolff Quintet and once with his own trio). “I can relate to that directly because I grew up in Champaign, Illinois, which is a pretty small town but it had a disproportionately fantastic arts center. … The Clarion is just a beautiful place to present art and music to the community.”

Hertzog, a genre-bending player celebrated for his improvisational virtuosity, is riding high from the release of the album “Throwback,” which added famed trumpeter Randy Brecker to his usual trio. For his Nov. 21 show, Hertzog will perform material from “Throwback” as well as earlier recordings.

Instead of Brecker, who had another commitment, Ingrid Jensen will play trumpet. Jensen has released several CDs and performs with numerous jazz groups, including her own quartet. For the Clarion show, the band will also include Hertzog’s longtime bass player, Harvie S, and former Spyro Gyra drummer Richie Morales.

“We’ll be able to play a lot of the really quartet-type songs from our newest record and then some of the trio stuff,” Hertzog said. “Some of the trio stuff has evolved quite nicely over the past couple years.”

This is Hertzog’s first time performing with Jensen, and he thinks she’s an ideal fit for the material. 

“This kind of improvisation really brings out everybody’s personality,” Hertzog said. “The thing that I enjoyed the most from the beginning with this band is trying to write situations where everybody could be themselves a little bit. This band has usually been about simple songs and complex improvisation. To me, that’s a lot of fun when we get a new person coming in because then we get a totally different take on the material.”

Although Hertzog is sticking to jazz for the Clarion show, he is ACTIVE in a variety of musical styles, including blues and rock. In fact, his rock band – The Young Presidents – has recorded with a number of noteworthy pop stars, including Ivan Neville and Corey Glover of Living Colour.

Hertzog said bridging genres came naturally.

“I think jazz is kind of an umbrella that everything works within,” he said. “Especially as someone who is interested in crossing genres, I think it’s important to be ACTIVE in as many styles as possible because that’s how the synthesis comes about. I’ve just always loved writing songs and exploring that part of it, too. So, I try to keep some semblance of both the composed songwriting style and the improvised style in my life.”