How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Hard to say whether or not producer Gerry Teekens has a special affinity for guitarists, but over the years his catalog has swelled with such skilled plectrists as Jimmy Raney, Peter Bernstein, Bobby Broom, Kurt Rosenwinkle, and Jesse Van Ruller. Now add to that list the name of Adam Rogers, a versatile and valuable sideman who has graced the recordings or live gigs of a number of heavies over the past few years including Michael Brecker and Norah Jones. He makes a strong statement for becoming the next great jazz guitarist via Art of the Invisible, which also sports the talents of pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Clarence Penn.
Following a highly personalized arrangement of “Long Ago and Far Away,” Rogers unleashes a series of his own quirky charts. Group interaction is put at a premium, particularly when it comes to Penn's polyrhythmic contributions. Rogers’ tone is akin to Pat Metheny’s basic approach and he often speaks in quick phrases of asymmetrical length. Even his melodies, such as “Absalom,” contain hits and other accents that come in all the but the most expected places. This steps the music a few paces forward beyond the typical mainstream affair, not easy to do without the end result sounding somewhat contrived.
Although he’s been rarely heard since his heady days spent with Bobby Watson’s Horizon, Simon is in great shape and contributes supercharged solos that audibly extend the ideas set forth in Rogers’ own lines. Penn is essential for this kind of thing, in that his complex interactions with the ensemble and the soloists are conducive to risk taking. Announcing the arrival of latent talent ready to be acknowledged at large, Art of the Invisible is guitar jazz at its best.
Track Listing: Long Ago And Far Away, Absalom, Bobo, The Aleph, The Invisible, Cathedral, Book Of Sand, In
Broad Daylight, The Unvanquished
Personnel: Adam Rogers (guitar), Edward Simon (piano), Scott Colley (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)