368

Adam Rogers: Apparitions

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Adam Rogers: Apparitions It's rare to find artists returning with the same personnel time after time. For reasons sometimes artistic—a diversity of stylistic concerns, the desire to work with a variety of players—and sometimes business-driven—concern that using the same people, album after album, will engender complacency, the challenge of retaining a consistent lineup—many artists' body of work is characterized by a constant flux in direction and personnel. While such variation may over time ultimately reveal a deeper musical philosophy in the hands of artists with vision—certainly Pat Metheny, Dave Douglas, and Louis Sclavis fit that description—those less focused run the risk of appearing eclectic with no apparent purpose.

Still, in the hands of artists including Dave Holland, Oregon, and Paul Motian—all with associations that have remained more or less constant over a longer term—there is the opportunity to hear how music can evolve through the kind of chemistry possibly only with longstanding collaboration. There's also the advantage of being able to write music for a specific group of players in mind and knowing how they'll respond.

It's no coincidence that guitarist Adam Rogers has been using the same quartet—pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Clarence Penn—for all three of his Criss Cross recordings, including his latest, Apparitions, and has featured saxophonist Chris Potter on the last two. It's all about slow, steady growth, and while Rogers doesn't make quantum leaps from album to album, he does manifest clear evolution.

While Rogers has developed a reputation for being the kind of musical chameleon who can play everything—from the harder urban edge of Lost Tribe, the cooperative band he co-led throughout the '90s, to the gentler aesthetic of Edward Simon and ex-Lost Tribe saxophonist David Binney's Afinidad—his own records have been characterized by a tone that bears some precedence in Metheny's warm, hollow-bodied sound. Rogers shares another characteristic with Metheny—the ability to write tunes that appear effortless and seem to flow with an unconsidered ease, yet reveal deeper rhythmic and harmonic complexities when examined under the hood.

Rogers displays tender lyricism on "Persephone" and "Moment in Time," ballads which feature him on classical and acoustic guitar respectively; and gentle, approachable swing on "The Maya," where he's back on electric. But he's equally disposed to a more aggressive stance on the fiery "Tyranny of Fixed Numbers" and an abstruse posture on "Continuance," which builds from a rapid-fire theme into freely improvised sections that highlight Potter's boundless energy, Simon's contrapuntal left hand/right hand independence, and Rogers' own ability to construct a solo from the most humble of beginnings. The title track is a more through-composed miniature, dark and abstract.

Rogers, like Binney, has been gradually emerging as not only one of his generation's more distinctive players, but also as a writer who comfortably blends heady intellectualism with visceral punch. Apparitions demonstrates the power of combining one's own artistic vision with the advantage of ongoing collaboration.


Track Listing: Labrynth; Tyranny of Fixed Numbers; Persephone; Continuance; The Maya; Apparitions; Amphora; Moment in Time.

Personnel: Adam Rogers: guitar; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Edward Simon: piano; Scott Colley: double bass; Clarence Penn: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Un Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review Un Viaje
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!