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The Guardian Reviews Potter's New Album

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Thursday May 04, 2017

From The Guardian

Chris Potter: The Dreamer Is the Dream review – powerful creative tensions
By: John Fordham

Chris Potter, one of jazz’s most powerful jazz reeds-players, has always seemed like the ideal sideman, perhaps better suited to enhancing the stories of others than to generating his own. But there’s a new creative tension within the quartet for his third ECM album as leader, perhaps because there seem to be two key partnerships complementing and challenging each other within it: Potter’s with longtime bass sidekick Joe Martin, and Cuban-American pianist David Virelles’ edgier, contemporary one with drummer Marcus Gilmore. Potter’s tenor sax has a deep, Coltrane-style intensity and a violin-like shimmer on the smoky Heart in Hand; the thumb-piano melody to Llimba sets an African mood that develops a Latin feel under a busy tenor theme; and the title track is a standout, with its ardent, songlike theme for bass clarinet. But Virelles’ solo on the Indian rhythms of Yasodhara – a tapestry of spidery wanderings, long pauses and Cecil Tayloresque bursts, with Gilmore right on his heels – is possibly the session’s most breathtaking improvisation.

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