Every jazz generation or decade has its extraordinary talents. Some create or typify movements in the genre like swing (Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington) or modern jazz (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker Thelonious Monk) or free jazz (John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy).
Others become trendsetters (Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus) or the leading voices of their respective instruments (Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin).
Leading a crack outfit into Filene Hall on the Skidmore College campus, electric-guitar virtuoso Adam Rogers‘ fluid guitar lines ran the gamut of dynamic twists and turns. From gentle melodic interludes to lightning-fast arpeggios, Rogers effortlessly tore through a dozen or so selections mostly taken from his three solo outings, including his latest, “Sight.”
Joining him on stage were drummer Adam Cruz (Chick Corea), bassist James Genus (Brecker Brothers, Chris Botti) and pianist Edward Simon (Herbie Mann). The standout classic-jazz tune of the evening was the quartet’s lovely interpretation of Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays.”
Rogers is one of a handful of young jazz guitarists poised to be among those who will define the instrument for the next decade. He knows the history and evolution of those who came before him and is distilling their styles to form his own original, yet accessible approach.
Whether thoroughly impressing an audience at Skidmore a year ago as a side-man backing saxophonist Chris Potter’s Quintet or leading his own quartet, Adam Rogers’ has already found his unique “voice.” The question is will it be given a chance to be heard by a wider audience? Stay tuned…
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk