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Metal-Ish: An Analysis of Heavy Metal and Jazz Fusion by Guitarist Adam Rogers

Malachi A Million, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Adam Rogers is a critically recognized guitarist known for his exceptional performances in jazz and other musical styles. Rogers has enjoyed a substantial career as a jazz ensemble leader, a sideman for other jazz ensembles, and a studio musician for jazz and non-jazz albums. Rogers’s discography includes five albums as a leader, four as co-leader, and over two hundred as a sideman. Rogers’s most recent album as leader, DICE (2017), is focused on music written for an ensemble of electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums that blends jazz with other styles such as funk, rock, R&B, blues, country, and heavy metal. One piece from the album that fuses heavy metal and jazz is “FLAVA,” noted by reviewers and the composer himself as possessing heavy metal attributes. This document exams “FLAVA” through transcriptions, analysis, and comparisons of examples from heavy metal, jazz, and Rogers’s own original jazz compositions to demonstrate how the guitarist combines elements from each style to create a balanced fusion. Contrasting “FLAVA” to examples from heavy metal and jazz will show multiple connections to both styles at various levels of the composition, both musical and extra-musical. Comparing “FLAVA” to other compositions from Rogers’s jazz catalogue will show how his musical voice comes through regardless of what style of music he is performing. While it might be tempting to associate one musical practice heard in “FLAVA” with either heavy metal or jazz exclusively, performance and compositional practices in music are not so clearly delineated. While analyzing “FLAVA” for its fusion of heavy metal and jazz, this research will also demonstrate multiple instances of shared musical practices between both styles. The overall goal is to demonstrate Rogers’s approach to heavy metal and jazz fusion while also bringing recognition to a distinct style of music.

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Recommended Citation

Million, Malachi A, "Metal-Ish: An Analysis of Heavy Metal and Jazz Fusion by Guitarist Adam Rogers" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI29168193.