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New Supergroup with Avishai Cohen, Chris Potter & Danilo Pérez

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Tuesday October 09, 2018

From Capital Bop

DANILO PÉREZ PREPARES TO DEBUT A NEW SUPERGROUP IN D.C. WITH CHRIS POTTER AND AVISHAI COHEN
By: Jackson Sinnenberg

Pérez’s latest adventure comes in the form of a quintet co-led the meditative trumpeter Avishai Cohen, the dexterous tenor saxophonist Chris Potter and Pérez. (Larry Grenadier joins on bass; the drums are a rotating seat.) In this project — featuring original works from all the members paying women literary giants — Pérez seeks to unite his well-hewn global jazz language with the expressive freedom and conceptual possibilities of the Shorter school.

CapitalBop: You’re debuting the new quintet that you co-lead with Avishai Cohen and Chris Potter at the Library of Congress. How did this group come together?

Danilo Pérez: I lead a group called Jazz 100 that did a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald and Mongo Santamaria. Avishai and Potter were the front-line trumpet and tenor, respectively. When we played together there was a natural chemistry. Then we did a smaller group, too, within that context, and we all left with the idea of wanting to continue exploring. There was some stuff we felt and heard. There was a potential….This is a follow-up to that first experience.

CB: How did you select Potter and Avishai for the Jazz100 performance?

DP: Chris Potter recorded with me on an album called Motherland in the 2000s…. From then, early on, I remember there was already an energy between us. I know he’s a big fan of the [Shorter] quartet too. Avishai, he came a little later. I’ve heard all his [family], especially his sister, but I remember him at Berklee; we met there and we always wanted to play together…. [Now] when we play I love the sound, I love the possibilities. They’re both very open-minded, and fearless.

CB: Do you bond over more than being open-minded or fearless? What is it that you heard in your playing with them that clicked so suddenly and powerfully?

DP: There is a connection, obviously, with our love for Wayne. The lineage of Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis, we all love that lineage. There is also a great, deep respect for the power of music as an intercultural dialogue. Chris Potter is very global in his thinking. I feel I’ve been, for years, practicing that kind of global jazz and been very inclusive. Inclusive using music as a tool for connecting bridges. Avishai brings his background from Israel. He brings an aesthetic from his deep connection to North Africa too. We all love jazz but we also love exploring the sounds of the world.

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