The line between straight-ahead jazz and fusion (or, heaven help us, "smooth jazz") can be fuzzy and the borderland it defines can be treacherous: tread carefully and you can create exciting and forward-thinking music; get careless and you might slip into a puddle of schlock. On his new album, guitarist Hugo Fernandez offers a master class in negotiating this difficulty: from his tone to his chord progressions, he delivers lush textures and smooth surfaces. But beneath those surfaces lie churning harmonic complexities and melodic pathways that wind and turn back on themselves beautifully. Note, for example, how the gentle chord changes on "Undercurrent" smooth out the effect of its vexing rhythmic irregularities — and how "Watertones"' funky basslines accentuate the rhythmic irregularities of that composition. It's a rare jazz album that is simultaneously this challenging, this accessible, and this easy to listen to.