New Orleans is a good place to grow up as a drummer. The unique rhythm and funky bac kbeat of the city's music become a part of life's imprinting process that gives a drummer a special feel for his subject matter. Drummer Adonis Rose is in that number of who share that advantage in working with some of the top jazz musicians from the Birthplace of Jazz.
While still in his early twenties, Adonis Rose won the esteem of fellow artists who have received acclaim at an early age. Rose plays drums with other young jazz lions such as Roland Guerin, Irvin Mayfield, Derek Douget, and Nicholas Payton, as well as the revered former Jazz Messenger, Donald Harrison, Sr.. Perhaps their shared experience of New Orleans makes them sympatico. There is no doubt they make good music together at gigs in their hometown, at venues like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Snug Harbor, the Funky Butt, and Donna's Bar & Grill.
On the national and international scene as well, the horn men often turn to Adonis Rose to provide that indefinable back beat. Rose can be heard on the drums on CD's such as Harrison's Spirits of Congo Square; Douget's Perpetual Motion, also released in 2002; and Irvin Mayfield's 1999 eponymous CD. Rose's playing tends towards hot and steamy, like the city of his birth.
As a member of trumpeter Nicolas Payton's quintet, Rose's work can be sampled on Payton Place, (1997); Nick At Night, (1999), and Dear Louis, (2001). Besides Payton and Rose, the other members of the quintet are Tim Warfield on tenor sax; Anthony Wonsey on piano; and Reuben Rogers on bass. Together, they form a tight unit, with plenty of room for each member to shine.
Payton and company returned the favor by playing sidemen on Rose's first two recordings as band leader. Song For Donise hit the stores in 1998, and The Unity was released the following year. Because the musicians gig together regularly, both recordings are exceptionally smooth. The recordings feature selections from the likes of Wayne Shorter and George Gershwin as well as tunes by band members Anthony Wonsey and Adonis Rose. Standouts on Song For Denise include Wonsey's Seventy Ninth Street, and Reflections, both of which give Rose plenty of opportunity to show his stuff. On The Unity, Rose shines on the title cut, and Tonk, both of which he wrote.
Rose's bold move to take the drums to the forefront at such a young age has paid off for himself as well as other artists. A call from Rose about his new CD inspired Jason Marsalis to do the same, with a CD entitled The Year of the Drummer. That title is an apt description as well for Adonis Rose, a man who has been having some very good years. ~ Rose of Sharon Witmer