“(Adam Rogers) debut album, at 36, Art of the Invisible (Criss Cross), is impressive on several counts. He’s a Guitarist with his own sound, mellow yet aggressive. He is so impressive of a player-taking his time, riding the beat, building to longish, intricate on the beat phrases…” - Gary Giddins , Village Voice
"In terms of melodic and rhythmic clarity, Rogers has few peers on the instrument, but his staggering technique is matched by musical sensitivity and a finely honed rapport with his quintet." David R. Adler, Jazz times
"Intelligent, inventive, technically brilliant, Rogers in now clearly one of the finest guitarists around" - Ray Comiskey, The irish Times
"(an) exceptional Guitarist.." - Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe
"One of the best guitarists of the century" - Dresden Zeitung
MICHAEL BRECKER QUARTET The influential tenor saxophonist is supporting a new record, ''Time Is of the Essence'' (Verve), and his recent performances have been powerful. He has a great groover's rhythm section, with the drummer Idris Muhammad and the organist Larry Goldings, and the guitarist Adam Rogers is given enough space within Mr. Brecker's easy-to-follow constructions to prove that he's ready for the major leagues. - Ben Ratliff, New York Times
Michael Brecker's quintet, built around the leader's tenor and Adam Rogers' guitar work.Brecker's choice of guitarist Adam Rogers as his front-line mate, meanwhile, was especially inspired. Rogers is a superb melodist with a plethora of interesting ideas to share. Moreover, his approach to the instrument is an essentially hornlike one, making him the perfect foil for Brecker, who is often cited for taking electric-guitar lines and playing them on sax – David Prince, Santa Fe New Mexican
"Guitarist Adam Rogers scares me, quite frankly. Still a young guy, he's got a vast range of experience (with everyone from Walter Becker to Norah Jones to Zorn to the post fusion group Lost Tribe which he co-led) and some of the most vertiginous chops you're likely to hear. What makes Rogers such an interesting musician (and i think he may well be the finest "mainstream" guitarist working today, though his style is more diverse than that label suggests) is the consistency of his vision, his imagination and his sheer musicality" - Jason Blivins, Signal to noise
"Musicians like Guitarist Adam Rogers perform with exquisite control and grace " - Jack Kroll, Newsweek
" Fluid guitarist Adam Rogers added interesting textures to each selection. His insightful commentary on “Twenty Four Miles To Go” shone particularly brightly." - Bill Brownlee, Kansas city star
"Rogers revealed an array of effects (via mournful slide, volume-pedal colorations and trebly swipes below the bridge of his guitar) that might have proved gimmicky if not for a tasteful sense of timing and volume. Later, Rogers tackled Metheny's "Song for Bilbao" with a deconstructive, biting flow that seemed more like King Crimsons Robert Fripp." - Boston Globe
"That clear, rich and full tone - along with Rogers' uncannily fluid linear style, pristine articulation and daring improvisational streak - has graced recordings by such a diverse list of musicians as Michael and Randy Brecker, Norah Jones and Lizz Wright among others." Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
"One of the most exciting and thoughtful players on the scene"
- Josef Woodard, Jazziz
"The best tracks are those with guitarist Adam Rogers and tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, each of whom produces a challenge that triggers a few moments of creative illumination...." – L.A. Times
“ Rogers favored long, lean phrases, often interrupting their flow with sudden flurries of fast-fingered bop lines” – Don Heckman, L.A. Times
"...the guitar work of Adam Rogers was continuously compelling." – L.A. Times
"Guitarist Adam Rogers returns with Sight, an album that continues his exploration of heady originals and standards, in the trio format that, with Time and the Infinite (Criss Cross, 2007), took a left-turn from his earlier quartet and quintet records.
Surrounded by friends old and new on Time, with Sight Rogers returns to longtime drummer Clarence Penn after that brief hiatus. John Patitucci may replace equally longtime bassist Scott Colley, but they're hardly new acquaintances. Rogers spent plenty of time with Patitucci in the studio and on the road with the late Michael Brecker's Quindectet project, Wide Angles (Verve, 2003), resulting in a trio chemistry here that possesses both that wonderful "first encounter" energy, and no shortage of established empathy between the individual players. That best of both worlds makes Sight an improvement over the undeniably fine Time.
As meticulous here as in his sideman stint with saxophonist Chris Potter's Underground on Ultrahang (ArtistShare, 2009), in the director's chair Rogers is more decidedly cerebral, with often knotty and unpredictable compositions and arrangements. That doesn't mean a lack of resonance, however. Rogers' title track grooves mightily, a modal tune that opens with a vamp which could easily ratchet into the red zone were it not for the same dark, warm, and woody tone that largely defines Rogers playing throughout the disc, the one exception being his fairly literal look at the balladic standard "Beautiful Love," that Rogers makes his own on nylon-string guitar. After emerging as a chops-meister in the 1980s with Chick Corea's Akoustic and Elektric bands, Patitucci has evolved into one of his generation's most important bassists. His work in Wayne Shorter's nearly decade-old quartet has contributed to the revitalization of the legendary saxophonist/composer's career, and he brings a similar telepathic elasticity to Rogers' trio. He constantly juggles the role of anchor with that of lyrical foil, and while he clearly still has chops to burn it's never in service of anything but the music. The near-classicism of Rogers' "Kaleidoscope" finds Patitucci acting as contrapuntal partner and harmonic focus for Rogers, whose lithe, graceful lines weave in and out of this ethereal composition with the increasing confidence that's marked the guitarist's trajectory for two decades. Penn engenders loyalty, whether with Rogers or trumpeter Dave Douglas, in whose electro-acoustic quintet he's held the drum seat since inception nine years ago. Here he creates a stable but flexible pulse to Rogers' complex rhythmic, harmonic, and temporal rearrangement of Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" and a more faithful version of Woody Shaw's enduring "The Moontrane," the latter a song that—with brass removed and guitar its primary melodic and chordal instrument—still swings, but with in a lighter, more open-ended fashion. When compared to Kurt Rosenwinkel's standards-heavy Reflections (Wommusic, 2009), Sight is a more challenging and overtly virtuosic look at music that spans decades. For a younger generation of players, it's clear that music at the very foundation of jazz continues to provide inspiration for ultra-modern exploration." - John Kelman, All about jazz
“Matthew Garrison played the Jazz Gallery on his birthday, June 2, with Adam Rogers on guitar, Jojo Mayer on drums, and Arto Tuncboyacian on percussion and vocals. Rogers was technically stunning, his lines a maze of rhythmic and intervallic invention. (Guitar nerd tangent: Rogers’s merciless right hand is the very model of precision and control. His fretting approach seems to pivot on fingers two and four, rather than one and three. He could probably lift weights with his left pinky.)”– All About Jazz.com
“Guitarist Adam Rogers can rock hard when he wants to (just listen to Lost Tribe), but he decided to go straightahead on his long-awaited debut disc, Art of the Invisible (Criss Cross). Leading a quartet with pianist Edward Clarence Penn, Rogers celebrated the record release at the Jazz Gallery, giving the audience a dose of his deadly chops and "Long Ago and Far Away." On this and the serpentine original "Absalom," Simon held back a bit; he sprang fully into action on the blues "Bobo," playing inspired games with Penn, stretching rhythmic ideas over barlines and even entire choruses. Rogers gets his iron tone by using both a Fender amp and a Walter Woods bass head. It's a pleasure to hear him as a leader, taking strides toward the top of the heap, where he belongs.” – All About Jazz.com
“After racking up an illustrious and highly diversified resumé as a sideman, guitarist Adam Rogers stepped out as a leader with the long-awaited Art of the Invisible on the Criss Cross label. Joined by pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Clarence Penn, Rogers displays staggering straight-ahead jazz chops and a sophisticated compositional voice. His program runs the gamut from standards and blues ("Long Ago and Far Away," "Bobo") to free ("The Aleph"). Other highlights include the deft arpeggiated lines of "The Invisible" and "Book of Sand," the blistering minor blues of "In Broad Daylight," the flowing lyricism of "Absalom," and the dark-hued balladry of "Cathedral" and "The Unvanquished." In addition to his clean, sturdy tone and stunning technical facility on electric (he brings Metheny to mind at times), Rogers plays sumptuously on both nylon- and steel-string acoustic instruments during the course of the record. Fans of modern jazz guitar, and highly refined jazz composition in general, should watch this player closely.” -- David R. Adler, All Music Guide
"What’s the best way to find out who’s the best guitarist in New York Simple-ask a few apple-based guitarists (or any other instrumentalists, for that matter). I’ve conducted an informal poll and the answer I’ve gotten more often than not is the leader here, who I’ve counted among the world’s finest plectrists for almost a decade now. 2002 is shaping up to be nothing less than the “Year of Adam Rogers”, with a hefty role taken in fantastic new releases by Scott Colley and Alex Sipiagin and notable appearances on Chris Potter’s Traveling Mercies, The Mingus Big band’s Tonight at Noon and a fairly well –received debut by Miss Norah Jones. Now, finally, Criss Cross Jazz gives us the long deserved and long overdue debut by quite simply, one of the world’s finest guitarists- ever. Adam’s been developing his incredible gifts in a variety of genres throughout his career, and clearly finds fascination and inspiration in all musical places; from fusion to pop to mainstream to ethnic to avant garde. This record finds him at his essence-swinging, mainstream, contemporary, small group, post-bop guitar nirvana. Guitar lovers-stop right now and buy this one before anything else this year because Adam’s put himself right at the head of New York’s, and therefore the world’s, elite cadre of incredible players pushing the instrument’s future forward. Highlights? The entirety of the outing swings incredibly hard or waxes gorgeously soft, with one standard and eight originals from Adam’s mighty pen. Seems as though Mr. Rogers has known all along that composition, not merely prodigious technique on the instrument, is at the core of consequence on the musical map.
That said, his skills as a pure player are absolutely mind-boggling, with long lines and phraseology extending the lineage of Martino, Montgomery and Benson, extruding a tone from a Gibson ES-335 so phat and warm it could be coming from a jazz box three times the width. One of the instrument’s great compers as well, he relinquishes that role for the most part here to the refined and harmonically astute pianist Eduardo Simon. What a quartet he’s assembled - Michael Brecker Band mates Clarence Penn, who stirs and swings the date hard and is full of surprises on the kit, and Scott Colley, a complete player with velvety tone on acoustic bass, round out the band. Compositionally, it’s full of layers. Listen to “Cathedral” for heart rendering piano and crystalline single note work emphasizing Rogers’ mastery of linear phraseology, especially his uncanny ability to speed up and slow down the tempo of any given line and return to the phrase at precisely the right nanosecond. On “Book of Sand” he brings authentic classical technique to the fore while “In Broad Daylight” and “Bobo” take Martino’s and Montgomery’s way with a minor blues to the next level, indeed. I had the pleasure of sitting stage side for Michael Brecker’s Boston run last year. After that incredible string of performances, I remember leaving the club thinking Adam had nudged the bar delimiting the role of the small-group guitarist in a pianoless quartet up just a little further than it had been prior to that day. With Art of the Invisible, he’s accomplished nothing less than raising the bar for all of mainstream jazz guitardom." - Phil DiPietro, All about jazz.com
“Rare is the debut album that presents a vision so mature and cosmopolitan as that expressed by guitarist Adam Rogers on Art Of The Invisible. Nor is it commonplace for any musician to realize their concept with the authority and elegance Rogers imparts to the entire program. The A-list rhythm section, pianist Ed Simon, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Clarence Penn, are fully in synch throughout a varied program.”. -Jazz w/Bob parlocha
“….guitarist Adam Rogers, is sounding better and better: he’s one of the best guitarists most folks have yet to hear.” Joseph Woodard, The Santa Barbara Independent
"Allegory" Featuring Chris Potter on tenor sax, Edward Simon on pianos, Adam Rogers on guitar & compositions, Scott Colley on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. This is ace jazz guitar hero Adam Rogers' second date as a leader and considering it is only January, I predict this will be one of this year's best jazz guitar gems! I remember Adam from a fine local fusion quintet called Lost Tribe from nearly a decade whose personnel included David Gilmore also on guitar, Dave Binney on alto sax and Fima Ephron on bass, all of whom have gone on to other great bands/sessions. The last time I caught Adam live he was subbing for Ribot in Electric Masada last year for a gig or two. From Adam's current quintet, we know both Chris Potter and Clarence Penn from their work with Dave Douglas, as well as numerous other bands. Both Scott Colley and Edward Simon also keep busy in a variety of bands, from what I recall. "Confluence", which opens starts with a slow, haunting theme but soon changes into an impossibly fast tempo with short yet expressive and daredevil solos from the piano, guitar and tenor sax, the rhythm team burning at a furious pace. The piece reminds me of one those great songs from Miles' quintet circa '67 like on 'Miles Smiles'. "Phyrigia" does have a rather hypnotic klez meets Trane sort of modal theme as Adam mentions and is filled with suspense, Scott's bass solo and Adam's guitar solo are cerebral and quietly mesmerizing, as in Chris' Trane-like tenor solo. What stands out throughout this great cd is Adam's composing, all challenging tunes which work on a few different levels at once. On "Was", there is a lovely, hummable melody is at the center, yet the quintet moves gracefully around it in a couple of waves. So far Adam has used his exquisitely warm, round jazz guitar tone, but on "Genghis" he opts for some Scofield-like grit to his tone, pushing Chris to also start bending his sax notes as well. That funky electric piano fits just right underneath as well. "Orpheus" is another deceptive gem with a quaint theme which gets more dreamy as it evolves, yet contains some unexpected difficult moments and yet another amazing (Pat Martino-ish) solo. Word from our pal postman Steve is that Adam Rogers often plays at the 55 Bar at 55 Christopher St., so we had better get on down there and check out this magnificent modern jazz quintet. A stunning cd on all counts! -downtown music gallery
Guitarist Adam Rogers could conquer the world. Here, Rogers displays Herculean chops to complement a strong compositional pen. His generally, blistering forays with tenor saxophonist Chris Potter and pianist Edward Simon are framed upon fluctuating movements and swiftly executed unison passages. The guitarist’s muse consists of a budding impetus that is pleasantly, in-your-face. Even so, the quintet commingles meticulously crated solos with a thrusting attack, sparked by Potter’s rip-roaring and gutsy solos. They tone it down in spots, amid snaky patterns and crisp swing vamps. But it’s the sum of the rather dynamic parts that elevates this set onto a higher state of musical consciousness. (A top jazz pick for 2005) – All about jazz
Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, and Liberty Ellman are just a few of the notable modern day guitarists who are making own their marks in technique and ability. Adam Rogers also falls into this category, but the question remains for any artist: how does one distinguish his own identity? Rogers’ new release may not sound altogether different from some of the postmodern bop variations, but it is distinct in its balance of both the art of high composition and performance.With chops honed as a sideman on many recording sessions, Rogers' hollow body fretboard prowess competes with some of the best, but he stands out the most compositionally with detailed, complex, and interesting ideas. This is clearly the trend he’s taken on his two previous recordings as a leader—Art of the Invisible (2002) and Allegory (2003)—so if you’re looking for the standard fare, think again. Rogers has recorded with a core group of players who all have extensive resumes as both sidemen and leaders. Clarence Penn is a versatile drummer with innate skills; Scott Colley is an in-demand bassist who’s performed on numerous recordings; Edward Simon combines a most interesting jazz and Latin feel with a classic style; and Chris Potter’s horn prowess speaks for itself. These guys have bonded and cooked together, and Apparitions continues in the same creative flow. The aptly named opening “Labyrinth” is packed with sudden twists and turns. Unison sax/guitar lines evolve into defined solo spaces; Rogers leads the way with rapid and intricate notes, prefacing other hearty spots by the sax and drums. “The Maya” shows how the group executes the depth of the expert rhythm section. The mood can change quickly from hot tempos to icy moments, as on the dark title piece. “Continuance” may appease those looking for Wes Montgomery-like grooves, but with added detail, multiple cadence changes, and some incendiary solos from everyone. Two other interesting cuts include “Tyranny of Fixed Numbers,” where Rogers shows his lighting-quick skills on a distorted Stratocaster, and its acoustic counterpart, “Moment in Time,” where the guitarist explores his steel-string persona. – Mark Turner, All about jazz
Adam Rogers, an accomplished classical guitarist, brings depth and versatility to his jazz sound. He also brings a fluid improvisational touch, full of forward momentum, on his latest Criss Cross release, Apparitions. Group cohesion is a big factor. The guitarist has recorded with the same lineup on his past three discs for the label, and the sound churns back and forth between tight grooves and loose, abstract feeling—mostly in the guitarist's solos—with a practiced ease.The set opens with “Labyrinth,” with tenor saxophonist Chris Potter sizzling on the melody over a shifting harmonic backdrop. The sizzle settles down into steady simmer when Rogers goes into a sweet-toned solo. It's apparent from the get go, with this initial solo, how much the success of the sound depends on the piano/guitar dynamic, with keyboardist Edward Simon splashing brights spots of color behind Rogers' darker lines. “Tyranny of Fixed Numbers” opens on dangerous-sounding rhythm, and Potter blows in with controlled intensity, seasoning the ominous mood. The music settles into a sad and contemplative spirit on “Persephone”, an introspective Rogers-penned—as are all the tunes here—ballad. “Continuance” cranks up the tempo again, with a stinging Potter tenor sax emerging from a drifting piano/guitar dance before things slow down to a brief, crisp, gregarious groove that melts away to introspection. The tune, a highlight, goes back and forth between the seamless group interplay and loose, inward abstraction. Apparitions showcases the magic of a group of very sympatico musicians on a fine set of straightahead jazz. - Dan McClenaghan/All about jazz
It’s rare to find artists returning with the same personnel time after time. For reasons sometimes artistic—a diversity of stylistic concerns, the desire to work with a variety of players—and sometimes business-driven—concern that using the same people, album after album, will engender complacency, the challenge of retaining a consistent lineup—many artists’ body of work is characterized by a constant flux in direction and personnel. While such variation may over time ultimately reveal a deeper musical philosophy in the hands of artists with vision—certainly Pat Metheny, Dave Douglas, and Louis Sclavis fit that description—those less focused run the risk of appearing eclectic with no apparent purpose. Still, in the hands of artists including Dave Holland, Oregon, and Paul Motian—all with associations that have remained more or less constant over a longer term—there is the opportunity to hear how music can evolve through the kind of chemistry possibly only with longstanding collaboration. There’s also the advantage of being able to write music for a specific group of players in mind and knowing how they’ll respond. It’s no coincidence that guitarist Adam Rogers has been using the same quartet—pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Clarence Penn—for all three of his Criss Cross recordings, including his latest, Apparitions, and has featured saxophonist Chris Potter on the last two. It’s all about slow, steady growth, and while Rogers doesn’t make quantum leaps from album to album, he does manifest clear evolution. While Rogers has developed a reputation for being the kind of musical chameleon who can play everything—from the harder urban edge of Lost Tribe, the cooperative band he co-led throughout the ‘90s, to the gentler aesthetic of Edward Simon and ex-Lost Tribe saxophonist David Binney’s Afinidad—his own records have been characterized by a tone that bears some precedence in Metheny’s warm, hollow-bodied sound. Rogers shares another characteristic with Metheny—the ability to write tunes that appear effortless and seem to flow with an unconsidered ease, yet reveal deeper rhythmic and harmonic complexities when examined under the hood. Rogers displays tender lyricism on “Persephone” and “Moment in Time,” ballads which feature him on classical and acoustic guitar respectively; and gentle, approachable swing on “The Maya,” where he’s back on electric. But he’s equally disposed to a more aggressive stance on the fiery “Tyranny of Fixed Numbers” and an abstruse posture on “Continuance,” which builds from a rapid-fire theme into freely improvised sections that highlight Potter’s boundless energy, Simon’s contrapuntal left hand/right hand independence, and Rogers’ own ability to construct a solo from the most humble of beginnings. The title track is a more through-composed miniature, dark and abstract. Rogers, like Binney, has been gradually emerging as not only one of his generation’s more distinctive players, but also as a writer who comfortably blends heady intellectualism with visceral punch. Apparitions demonstrates the power of combining one’s own artistic vision with the advantage of ongoing collaboration. – John Kelman/All about jazz
Adam Roger's third Criss Cross CD as a leader focuses exclusively on his challenging original works. Joining the guitarist are four superb musicians: tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Clarence Penn. The many twists within the opener "Labyrinth" are finessed with ease by the group, while Rogers adds a bit of distortion to his instrument for the intense "Tyranny of Fixed Numbers." The extended workout of "The Maya" is built upon an ostinato bass pattern, with Rogers and Potter playing in unison until the piece opens up and the bassist's role is freed; then the leader works his magic with an inventive solo. "Apparitions" is truly a haunting melody as Rogers and Potter introduce the theme, with Penn gradually adding background percussion. The finale, "Moment in Time" is an intriguing, low-key ballad, omitting the piano and tenor sax, while Colley (a veteran of guitarist Jim Hall's trio) responds to the stripped down setting with some of his best work of the session. Highly recommended. Ken Dryden-allmusic.com