Adam Rogers has been in demand as a sideman in a variety of contexts lately, which is one reason why this is only his second recording as a leader. He’s joined by Chris Potter on tenor saxophone, Edward Simon on keyboards, Scott Colley on bass and Clarence Penn on drums.
‘Confluence" kicks off the disc with the band coming out improvising collectively on the theme, making way for a piano solo backed with bass and drums. Rogers takes a solo with a very fluid tone on the guitar, and the Chris Potter takes the first of his many excellent solos on this disc. Even though "Phrygia" comes early in the disc, it is the centerpiece of the album. The song opens with a quiet, foreboding feeling, which a short bass solo keeps until the music builds to a strong guitar solo by Rogers, which gradually builds pace, prodded by Penn’s drums. Potter comes in with a dark toned solo. This is one of the most intense solos Chris Potter has recorded, a real "dark night of the soul" type solo, as Penn cracks the whip from the rear.
The rest of the disc isn’t exactly and afterthought, it’s just a hard act to follow after "Phrygia," Potter gets strong solos on "Gengis," and "Was" with Rogers being featured on acoustic guitar on "Red Leaves." The rest of the band stays pretty much in a supporting role, with Simon getting another nice solo turn on "Cleveland."
At times intense, mellow and boppish, this is a long CD (over 70 minutes) that covers a lot of ground. As well as Rogers plays, it’s hard to overlook that this is some of Chris Potter’s finest playing to date. His tone has darkened and hardened somewhat, which works well on some of the fast paced numbers, but he still retains the ability to play lyrically which suits the ballads.
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