Art of Life Records
The first sign of something unusual about trumpeter and keyboard player Chris Rogers's wonderful new album, "Voyage Home," is the masterful saxophone sound of Michael Brecker, who died in 2007. With an overall funky, Afro-Cuban feel, this CD is as fresh as yesterday, but the credits say it was recorded in 2001. It's not a reissue; it was a long time in the making. And it's worth the wait. The son of legendary trombonist Barry Rogers, Chris Rogers was a trumpet prodigy who began playing with Gerry Mulligan at 19. Over his career, he's played with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Chaka Khan.
Growing up immersed in jazz, Rogers made great friends along the way. Aside from Brecker the album boasts Ted Nash and Roger Rosenberg on saxophones; Art Baron, trombone; Steve Khan, guitar; Xavier Davis and Mark Falchook, keyboards; Jay Anderson, bass; Steve Johns, drums; and Willie Martinez, percussion. A trombone interlude by Rogers' late father begins one tune. Many of the solos are phenomenal, but they share the spotlight with Rogers' composing and arranging skills. There's no need to wonder if this album will withstand the test of time; it already has.