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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Shoji Ichikawa

“Patience is a virtue of which Adam Cruz is amply possessed,” writes Shaun Brady in JazzTimes. A quick survey of the drummers’ credentials, which include a decade long tenure in the trio of the pianist Danilo Perez, as well as consistent engagements with Chick Corea, David Sanchez, Edward Simon, Steve Wilson, and The Mingus Big Band, reveals a particular interest in developing deep relationships over time.

Similarly, when it came to developing his own music, Adam was careful not to rush into it. “I’ve had a vision to do something with my composing for a long time,” he says. “But I’ve also felt a certain ripening needed to happen. This is a big step for me. I’ve invested a lot of time in practicing and studying, working at my relationship with the piano and developing a compositional voice. I’ve just turned 40 and I’m happy the record is coming out now. There’s a certain amount of growth and maturity that I have gone through, deepening my dedication as a drummer and composer, particularly over the last decade.”

Adam has been playing at The Jazz Gallery as a sideman for years, and when we heard that he was planning to launch his own group, we happily invited him to test drive his music on our stage (as mentioned in this in-depth article in The Wall Street Journal). After a few performances, and with support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Adam took his band into the studio to record Milestone, his acclaimed debut album.

On Thursday, we will present Adam’s group, which features the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and the guitarist Steve Cardenas (both of whom can be heard on Milestone), as well as a few young artists we’ve been hearing a lot from lately: the tenor saxophonist Kyle Wilson, the pianist David Virelles, and the bassist Luques Curtis.

Listen to lengthy samples from Milestone here (scroll all the way down). We also recommend this interview with Adam posted by our friends at Alternate Takes.