Formerly a member of the successful fusion band Lost Tribe, guitarist Adam Rogers steps out as a decidedly mainstream artist offering decidedly mainstream (if fairly abstract) music. Having said that, Allegory is not the average collection of standards clogging the arteries of Best Buy. Rogers previously released the Art of the Invisible , a disc not so unlike this one, was applauded as an extension of Rogers's fusion sensibility into a more acoustic setting. In fact, one would almost suggest that Rogers's mainstream chops could not compare with his fusion musings. This could not be further from the truth. Rogers's has a great ear for the traditional, proving it on pieces like The album opener "Confluence" and "Phyrigia," where the guitarist shares his center light with reedist Chris Potter, both melding synergistically in the compositions. Scott Colley adds his forward-looking bass playing to the mix, grounding the music in rarified light of swing.
Larry Vuckovich / John Hendricks
(Tetrachord Music 682)
the last time Larry Vuckovich crossed my path, it was with his Basie, Young Parker tribute Young at Heart . Now he is back is a new Tetrachord release, again tipping his hat the golden age of Modern JazzBasie, Young, Parker, Coltrane, Moody. This disc is a swinging little ditty that employs the great vocal master Jon Hendricks on several of the pieces. Hendricks tears it up on "Lester Leaps In" and "Tickle Toe." Noel Jewkes and Jules Broussard hold down the saxophone chairs in this saxophone fest, both turning in superb performances on "Last Train for Overbrook" and "Scrapple From the Apple" as well as, "Tickle Toe." John Coltrane's "Impressions" is a very fine addition, also. This disc is well worth seeking out for its easy swing and very good nature.
You Left Me in the Dark
Sixty-nine -year-old guitarist Jody Williams was a mainstay on the Chicago Blues scene in the 1950s. His guitar can be heard on Bo Diddley's "Who do You Love," Howlin' Wolf's "Evil" and "Forty-Four Blues," and Billy Boy Arnold's "I Wish You Would." He performed with Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Otis Rush. After years of playing in the shadows, not getting his fair share of attention, Mr. Williams left music to work as an engineer for Xerox. One would have to believe that this is what happens more often than not. But now Jody Williams reemerges with a recording showing him to be the logical link between T-Bone Walker and B.B. King. But what emerges more forthrightly is Williams's lock on a blues style that Robert Cray and various other younger blues musicians tried to masterthe Soul/Blues axis. Just check out the title cut to see what I mean.