Dan Adler: All Things Familiar


All Things Familiar


Dan Adler (guitar)


All Things Familiar (Emdan Music)

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Dan Adler (guitar),

Grant Stewart (tenor sax), Richard Samuels (piano), Dmitri Kolesnik (bass), Philip Stewart (drums)


Composed by Dan Adler


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, October 7, 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Among the legion of relatively unknown, emerging jazz guitarists, Dan Adler may be one of the best and brightest. His playing is strong, free of showy enthusiasm and deeply infused with technical savvy. Born and raised in Israel, where he studied physics under Mario Livio (author of Is God a Mathematician?), Adler has earned degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, has authored various technical works, and holds a U.S. patent. His eclectic jazz studies have been no less productive and he credits the streets of his adopted city of New York and mentors such as Jack Wilkins and Vic Juris for much of that. While such a marriage between art and science frequently produces little more than android eructation, Adlerís playing effectively walks the tightrope between the analytical and the emotional, producing finely crafted lines within which real blood flows.

Jerome Kernís indomitable "All the Things You Are" has been elevated to (or some may say, victimized by) the status of quintessential form, a structural basis for new compositions ala "Rhythm" or "Indiana." The changes are both irresistible and daunting, tempting many players to flex their muscles at increasingly impossible tempos. Adler has resisted that temptation, opting for eloquence rather than exuberance. Supported only by a solid sense of time, this piece opens with a swinging, relaxed interplay between the naked sax and guitar, merging into an intricate unison head as the rest of the ensemble jumps in. Adlerís solo is thoughtful, spontaneous, and rich in texture. Choruses from Samuelís lyrical piano and Stewartís ballsy tenor are equally satisfying.

All things considered, the jazz guitar world should become more familiar with Dan Adler.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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