Texas-based bassist and composer John Adams is a versatile performer known for his sophisticated jazz albums. A sought-after sideman since the 1980s, Adams has worked with such artists as Woody Herman, Rosemary Clooney, David Liebman, and others. The founder of Congruent Music Company, he also leads his own groups, releasing albums like 1996's Jump Shot, 2009's Thumbs Up, and 2013's Trios Two.
Raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Adams started playing bass in the eighth grade, and by the time he was in his teens, knew he wanted to pursue jazz as a career. After high school, he studied first at the University of North Texas and then at Denton's North Texas State University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies in 1982. He then spent several years touring and performing before returning to North Texas to work on his master's degree. Over the years, he has toured and/or recorded with a bevy of well-known performers, including Woody Herman, Mel Tormé, Rosemary Clooney, Randy Brecker, Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, and many others.
Adams eventually moved to Dallas and in 1996 founded his own Congruent Music Company, offering a wide array of recording, composing, arranging, and producing assistance. That same year, he made his debut as leader with Jump Shot, which featured guest spots by trumpeter Marvin Stamm and pianist Warren Bernhardt. He followed in 1999 with the live quartet album Fly by Night. Adams' third album, With You in Mind, arrived in 2001 and included a mix of originals, standards, and reworked pop covers. Featured on the record were guest appearances by saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Mitch Watkins. Another concert album, Live!, appeared in 2004. Two years later, Adams returned with Trios, which found him leading five different trio combinations. In 2009, he again explored a mix of originals and standards with Thumbs Up. He then revisited his trios project with 2013's Trios Two. ~ Matt Collar