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
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.