Dreamer Composer/Saxophone Original Chris Potter in Residency at Village Vanguard Celebrating His New Trio Recording for ECM
One of the most respected and emulated jazz saxophonists, Chris Potter will be in residence at the Vanguard with the band on his new ECM recording The Dreamer Is the Dream. He’s a saxophone original. He sails with a tenor lyricism that can move into an angular soar. He is an expressive and spontaneous improviser whose cries become joyful, his exuberance turns to wailings. A few years ago at the Monterey Jazz Festival, I gave fellow saxophonist Joe Lovano the DownBeat Blindfold Test in front of an audience. One of my curve balls was the song “Remain,” sung by an obscure vocalist Alison Wedding from her This Dance album. The guest saxophonist was Potter, who Lovano immediately recognized, even though he had no idea who the singer was. He reflected, “Chris has a beautiful clarity in his playing and articulation too. He’s always developing and creating in a variety of settings—challenging himself all the time so that he is moving the music forward…He’s one of jazz’s most creative artists today.”
For Potter’s latest release—his third from ECM—that features a stellar new quartet comprising pianist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, he expressively delivers six of his own compositions, including the slow rhapsodic gem “Heart in Mind” (with the leader on tenor sax), the celebratory exploration “Ilimba” (with Potter bringing percussion into the mix with his African thumb piano experimentation), the zesty “Sonic Anomaly” (with Brazilian spice) and the deep title tune where Potter opens in a state of lyrical longing on the espresso-dark bass clarinet and closes with a brace of muscular tenor saxophone. All of which makes for a perfect fit at the Vanguard. —Dan Ouellette
Cover: Chris Potter; photo:Tamas Talaber.