Over the last 15 years, there has been another of those periodic upsurges of talent on the New York jazz scene. You could argue, of course, that the New York scene is always awash with talent, a point that I would not contest, so let’s just say that the last 15 years has seen a whole lot of new and exciting players emerging from New York.
Guitarist Adam Rogers is just one such player and like many of his peers is now starting to branch out with a solo career having spent some years playing clubs and sessions for others. I have a feeling that I first encountered Rogers on David Binney’s excellent (and highly-recommended) ‘South’ (ACT Music, 2000) and this album from 2 years later reunites Rogers with tenor player Chris Potter and Bassist Scott Colley from those sessions. Also present are the excellent Venezuelan pianist, Edward Simon and drummer Clarence Penn.
For me, Simon is the stand-out peformer here, which is not to say the others don’t perform; Rogers and Potter often play lead lines in unison, rather like Kurt Rosenwinkel & Mark Turner, but that’s not the full story. Rogers also deploys a nifty Andalucian-sounding acoustic for the ballad, ‘Red Leaves’ and shows that although he was perhaps still searching for his own ‘voice’ when this album was made, he wasn’t about to be typecast as another Bill Frisell or Pat Metheny clone.
Rather like the contemporary jazz scene in both Norway and Italy, you do get the feeling that if you just round up half a dozen of these New York players at random and thow them into a recording studio together, they are going to emerge with something half-decent…..and ‘Allegory’ is substantially better than that.