129

Adam Cruz: Milestone

By

Sign in to view read count
Adam Cruz: Milestone Inevitably, with the release of any recording done under a drummer's leadership, there is discussion over whether it is a drummer's record or not—understandable in that drummers are the great unsung heroes of most recordings and it is always exciting to have the opportunity to "give the drummer some," in the words of the great Maceo Parker. What this means however, is far from clear. Is it that the drummer has written the tunes or takes a lot of solo space—or perhaps it could mean that the timekeeper is leading the band through a workout of a myriad metric changes?

Perhaps the most well-known of modern jazz drummer-led bands is Art Blakey. Elements of the Blakey model are at work on drummer Adam Cruz's Milestone. First and foremost, he has assembled a great band. Art Blakey's The Jazz Messengers, throughout all of its various incarnations, were hot. Blakey lit a fire under them and trusted them to go. The same is true of the messengers assembled by Cruz for here/. The drums announce the beginning of the music and we're off. It doesn't take long for the boil to begin with tenor saxophonist Chris Potter and pianist Edward Simon performing brilliantly throughout.

Perhaps what makes for a drummer's record is nothing more than outstanding drumming? Cruz is the real deal, his bona fides will speak for themselves, and this record is no different. He plays with soloists effectively, has a seemingly endless arsenal of fills to play over vamps (a favorite Blakey-ism), and knows just when to bring the heat and when to cool it off a bit.

What makes this a truly special outing is the song selection: all original compositions, all penned by Cruz, all very solid. With melodic and harmonic interest and pretty ballads, Cruz demonstrates surprising depth and maturity for his debut as a leader. Whatever criteria might be used to define a drummer's record, this is it—and it is also just a very good record.


Track Listing: Secret Life; Emje; Crepuscular; The Gadfly; Resonance; Outer Reaches; Magic Ladder; Bird of Paradise.

Personnel: Adam Cruz: drums; Miguel Zenon: alto sax (1, 2, 5, 8); Steve Wilson: soprano sax (3, 4, 6, 7); Chris Potter: tenor sax; Steve Cardenas: guitar; Edward Simon: piano, Fender Rhodes; Ben Street: bass.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Gurutopia" CD/LP/Track Review Gurutopia
by James Nadal
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 3, 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!