Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Drummer Adam Cruz has proven his worth as a sideman. Cruz worked for trumpeter Tom Harrell, saxophonists Pharaoh Sanders and Paquito D'Rivera. For 10 years, Cruz punched the clock in the Danilo Perez trio. Cruz has enough work experience under his belt now to be an effective session leader. Perez  had  a big influence on Cruz style of composing. Like Perez, Cruz writes abstract compositions. “Milestone”is Cruz's debut as the boss. He wrote eight originals for the album. 

“Milestone” opens with a long composition “Secret Life”. Cruz hand stitched the composition to suit  saxophonist Chris Potter. Potter is a blunt improviser, and he never backs down from challenging material. Cruz hired other like minded saxophonists the 2008 Guggenhiem and MacArthur fellow Miguel Zenon, and Steve Wilson, a featured soloist in the Maria Schneider Orchestra. The saxophonists generate excitement and are comfortable under Cruz’s supervision. 

On “Resonance,” Zenon dispenses notes like a coin machine. Wilson plays jump rope with the chord changes on "Magic Ladder". Cruz is a self-less boss. His drumming style is laid-back like the great Blue Note session drummer Joe Chambers. Cruz only took a few quick solos on “Milestone”. After years of being a grunt, Cruz has deservingly moved to the next level.
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