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The Next Mountain to Climb

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Thursday April 19, 2018

From the Lexington Herald Leader

He’s played with Steely Dan and on Grammy-winners. He comes to the Lyric to get funky.
By: Walter Tunis

The jet lag had barely lifted. Still, on the afternoon following Chris Potter’s return from a European tour with a new quartet he will show off Sunday evening for the Origins Jazz Series, the saxophonist seemed content — well, as content as a globetrotting, band-jumping composer, improviser and collaborator can be.

“You’re always looking at the next mountain,” Potter said of the myriad projects and bands that have taken him around the world over the two decades. “I feel very, very lucky that I’ve been able to spend years now involved in music that I really believe in and wanted to be a part of, both as a leader and with other people.

“I’ve been playing the saxophone now for a long time, but I still feel like I’m learning new things, even about the instrument, with every performance. So I’m just following that line the same way I always have. […] I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire along with Weather Report and the Headhunters. That’s been a part of my musical DNA from an early age, along with Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. This group helped me find a way to explore that and play really organically in a kind of funk context.”

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