June 16, 1998
New Age, Ethnic Fusion, Flamenco, Contemporary Instrumental, Western European Traditions

Album Review

Mixing pop hooks, rock edges, and exotic Middle Eastern flavors with his zesty acoustic flamenco guitar, Jesse Cook has no such trouble discovering his own sense of adventure on his third album Vertigo. Cook indeed inspires a happy dizziness daring his listener to keep up with his global jaunts and unique, Tabasco-hot texturing of Art Avalos' percussion toys (what are djembes and guiro?) over solid rhythm guitar foundations, along with a keen ability to pluck out catchy melodies and improvisations. He hits the Cajun trail by punching out machine gun patterns over a shuffling groove and Buckwheat Dural's accordion harmony; then Cook kicks up some sand, drawing a hypnotic picture of gypsy excitement as counterpoint to the swaying violin harmony by George Koller. As odd as it may sound, allegretto is the flamenco-styled equivalent to a John Cougar Mellencamp song, a vigorous folk-rock clapalong reminiscent of the singer's recent cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night." The guitarist even plays underwater, "Breathing Below Surface," with the help of a subtle trip-hop groove and underwater synth effects.
Jonathan Widran, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. That's Right
  2. Byzantium Underground
  3. CanciĆ³n Triste
  4. Rattle and Burn
  5. Red
  6. Breathing Below Surface
  7. Avocado
  8. Allegretto
  9. Vertigo
  10. Fragile