Review: Pérez, Potter, Cohen Quintet

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Monday October 29, 2018

From All About Jazz

Pérez, Potter, Cohen Quintet At SFJAZZ
By: Harry S. Pariser

Potter needs no introduction to fans of the music. His prowess on tenor and soprano saxophones has long been recognized, and he is a frequent performer at SFJAZZ and elsewhere. Cohen left his native Israel for the rough-and-tumble streets of New York where he struggled to establish himself as a trumpet player. Pérez gave him his first break, and Cohen then went on to join Chick Corea where, over the years, he gained both fame and notoriety.

The evening began with Pérez’s “Beloved,” a tune inspired by the Toni Morrison novel of the same name. Cohen took the lead before Potter came in with lush saxophone tones. Smith was gentle on his sticks at first before turning hard driving. After Pérez soloed, the band came in’“the horns playing lush melodies’“to end the tune. Next, it was time for a Potter composition: “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” inspired by the famous Zora Neale Hurston novel. He tells us that inspiration came from Tea Cake, protagonist Janie’s wild third husband, whom Potter characterized as “the most fun loving character in the book.”

“Innovation African,” Cohen’s initial contribution to the evening, began as Pérez plucked strings inside his piano while Cohen lightly clapped his hands and Grenadier played the bottom of his bass. Grenadier’s bass riff took off, and Cohen’s trumpet led the sonic landscape. Potter entered on soprano and soloed beautifully; a tender piano solo from Pérez followed, and the tune concluded on a soft note.

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