Fresh, Unexpected & Alive

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Friday June 02, 2017

From The Chicago Tribune

Chris Potter Sets Off A Storm In Evening Of New Music
By: Howard Reich

It’s difficult to fathom how saxophonist Chris Potter could play a second set after the first one he offered Thursday night at the Jazz Showcase.

The sheer amount of energy, muscularity and intellectual content he packed into this performance represented about as complete a statement as one could ask of a musician in a single evening. And though Potter was leading his taut quartet, he took on an outsized proportion of musical responsibility, unreeling one epic solo after another.

That only one of the concert’s five tunes has been recorded only added to the stature of the occasion. For Potter opened his four-night run emphasizing new music and, therefore, challenged himself and his colleagues all the more. Even the one piece that has been recorded appears on Potter’s newly released album, “The Dreamer Is the Dream” (ECM).

No wonder everything Potter played sounded fresh, unexpected and alive. There were no familiar motifs and few conventional turns of phrase, Potter blurring lines that separate mainstream and avant-garde improvisation. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that his music combines cerebral, ultrasophisticated playing with an oft-athletic delivery, a combination encountered not often enough.

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