A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Lafiya Watson // filter via

Photo by Lafiya Watson // filter via

Guitarist Mike Moreno has maintained a conspicuous presence here at The Jazz Gallery for over a decade as a leader, sideman, and even audience member from time to time.

Moreno’s home-base group is a working quartet with piano, bass, and drums. But even though Moreno keeps the instrumentation the same, he likes to work with different players to explore new sounds and new possibilities for improvisation. This Friday, July 11th, 2014 at The Jazz Gallery, Moreno will convene a new iteration of his quartet, featuring Jon Cowherd on piano, Matt Brewer on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums. While Moreno has worked with all of these players before in different contexts, they have never before played as a group. To get a sense of what might go down on Friday, here are some tunes featuring Moreno interacting with each of his bandmates:

With Jon Cowherd: “Hope”

Moreno and Cowherd were responsible for the gorgeous, atmospheric accompaniments on saxophonist Myron Walden’s pair of In This World albums from 2010. Listen to how they paint impressionistically behind Walden’s solo without getting in each other’s way.

With Matt Brewer: “On Green Dolphin Street”

In addition to painting lush backdrops, Moreno can spin out knotty lines that pulse with vitality. With Brewer and drummer Ari Hoenig, Moreno puts the well-worn standard “On Green Dolphin Street” through its paces, effortlessly switching from an earthy Latin vibe to gutbucket swing and back again.

With Adam Cruz: “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” + “One and a Half”

Because Moreno has such a wide aesthetic range, he needs a versatile drummer who can color ballads delicately as well as execute complex rhythms with aplomb. As you can tell from these performances from the 55 Bar, Adam Cruz fits the bill perfectly.

The Mike Moreno Quartet performs at The Jazz Gallery this Friday, July 11th, 2014. The group features Moreno on guitar, Jon Cowherd on piano, Matt Brewer on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums. Sets are 9 and 11 p.m. $22 general admission ($10 for Members). Purchase tickets here.