The World Is Not Your Home, released in 2007 to celebrate Rogers' return to jazz with a new quintet, was recorded a decade ago. Since then he has spent two years in rural Ghana studying drum language and the local horsehair fiddle and composed for theater, dance and classical groups as well as for "Imaginary Homeland," his African- fiddle-based quartet. Their 2005 CD, Jump For George, was reviewed previously by JazzReview.com.
Rogers' six originals will impress you with his ability to express emotion and ideas by utilizing all the possibilities of the tenor sax, the importance of his rhythm section (and other rhythm players) and the interesting way in which his compositions unfold. His insightful liner notes will add to your listening experience.
The lively New Orleans-flavored " Don't Drop That Coffin" is a trio number with Rogers, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and bassist Marion Hayden all contributing to the atmosphere while Pianist Craig Taborn is added on "Mobius Trip," providing an opportunity for some interesting counterpoint. " Oboo Ketua Nyom" features Rogers with piano and gylls (African xylophones): his saxophone speaks over a rhythmic and hypnotic groove laid down by his bandmates. " Merciful Ones," a sextet offering including vibes and clarinet, opens with bowed bass. A solemn chorale builds, one instrument at a time, until Rogers and Cleaver take the intensity up more than a notch. In "La Isla De Reyes," Rogers uses percussion, conga and clave to transform a simple Latin theme into an intricate chart, setting the stage for an extended solo and dazzling display of montunos by Taborn. African drums are front and center in the free and impressionistic title track. From the opening clarinet solo, this composition recognizes the fragility of life amid war in Ghana where " The world is not your home. It is just like a shaky hut."
The World Is Not Your Home is an engaging release from an innovative musician. I look forward to hearing more as David Rogers and his new quintet explore the relationship of jazz and world music.