Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking famously disagreed on the question. Einstein insisted “God does not play dice.” Years later, Hawking retorted: “Not only does God play dice, but He sometimes … throws them where they cannot be seen.” I don’t know, but I have to go with Hawking on this one. 😉
Adam Rogers Dice consists of Adam Rogers on electric guitar, Fima Ephron on bass, and Nate Smith on drums. Now where have you heard these names before? If you read this blog, you know they have all played with Chris Potter as part of Chris Potter Underground. Actually, Adam and Fima have a musical relationship that predates Underground. Both were part of the jazz fusion outfit Lost Tribe along with David Binney (sax), Ben Perowsky (drums), and David Gilmour (guitar) — no, not the one from Pink Floyd. Dan aficionados might also know that both Adam and Fima were sidemen on Walter Becker’s debut solo effort 11 Tracks of Whack (1994). In fact, Walter produced Lost Tribe’s debut. However, with Adam at the helm, this band is neither Underground nor Tribe, but a different entity — a power trio — perhaps drawing as much or more from the traditions of rock or blues as from jazz. The band really defies any notion of genre. Although Dice has been playing together and touring for quite some time, the band has just released its eponymous debut. I’ve heard live versions of several of these songs courtesy YouTube, but I’m glad to finally have my hands on some studio output. I have to love “Dice” and “Sea Miner” for the aggressiveness. “Chronics” and “The Mystic” are more bluesy, each a slow and relentless groove. The latter, dedicated to Mississippi bluesman Fred McDowell, might be my current favorite. There exists a live early boot of that song entitled simply “Fred.” The very unexpected but welcome, “Crazy” has to be a contender as well. It’s the epitome of sparse, but Adam somehow channels Patsy’s voice with his guitar. Check it out. Highly recommended.
Here’s an episode of On The Roof with Adam talking to Scott Phelan about the record and everything from Broadway tunes to Muddy Waters, Hendrix to Coltrane. There’s a clip of Walter Becker buried in here. They may even touch on physics once or twice. 🙂
Revive Music interviews Adam