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Too often, liner notes have about the objectiveness of a recommendation letter written by a mother on behalf of her child. It's possible that good qualities are exalted, but it's just as likely that strengths are exaggerated and comparisons with the genre's greats are too easily made. Guitarist Adam Rogers' latest recording is a notable exception. The effusive praise is merited, and any declarations are fully supported by the tight arrangements and intoxicating melodies.
"Young and Foolish" is described as achieving "effortless lyricism that exemplifies a 'profound simplicity.'" Nothing could be truer. The "I Loves You, Porgy" description name-drops Miles and Gil Evans, but only as a genealogical backdrop of sorts. Rogers, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart make this song their own in a refreshing, entirely honest way; it's a straightforward composition that is executed respectfully and unpretentiously, Rogers' sharp but mellifluous notes contoured by strong bass. The most compelling track, however, is "Esteban," inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez' short story "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World," whose protagonist is named Esteban by enchanted villagers in a remote town in Colombia. The track sounds like the story feels, and the five minutes are packed with a regional sound that feels genuine and exotic, largely due to Rogers' emotional and versatile guitar playing. "Esteban" is followed by "Without a Song," a slinky, lighthearted track that delivers a brisk effect by way of Stewart's steady drumming.
The liners quote Rogers as commenting that "even after years of playing, there is still so much mystery in this art, which can be wonderful, surprising, sometimes confusing, but rarely uninteresting." The same can be said for Time and the Infinite, and there is no trace of embellishment in that conclusion.
Track Listing: Night and Day; Elegy; Time and the Infinite; Young and Foolish; Cheryl; Esteban; Without a Song; Ides of March; I Loves You, Porgy.
Personnel: Adam Rogers: guitar; Scott Colley: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.