Chris Potter: The Personal Stamp
As for the saxophonist himself, as he continues to play important sideman gigs as well as develop his own music and his own playing, Potter has his shoulder to the wheel. He always has. He started on alto sax at the age of 10 and steadily made a march up to the high echelons of jazz, influenced along the way by the likes of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Dewey Redman and Wayne Shorter, among others.
"I'm always working on trying to improve, so I hope those changes are improvements. A lot of my growth has to do with how to keep up a high level of intensity without forcing things. At least that's my goal." And jazz improvisation is still as big a challenge as ever for Potter. "I've been very lucky to have had all the experiences. I've had with so many inspiring musicians; they've all helped me to grow as a musician and as a person. I just hope to continue this journey for as long as I can, and hopefully use my abilities to their fullest so I can contribute something of my own."
He has more on his plate besides the heavy Metheny tour. He's part of Joshua Redman's Axis Quartet, an all-sax group that will be getting some gigs when Redman's busy schedule allows. Redman, Potter, Mark Turner and Chris Cheek played to an appreciative audience in July at the North Sea Jazz festival in the Netherlands. The saxophones melded in interesting ways, with Potter playing mainly tenor. Speed held down the bass parts with baritone sax. Each was able to show some of their unique solo styles.
Potter's own band will go to China later this year. Early next year, he has an album coming out on the ECM label with a different band. "It's an acoustic group with Eric Harland on drums, Larry Grenadier on bass, Craig Taborn on acoustic piano, and David Virelles on some other keyboard instruments. I'm hoping to be able to do a fair amount of touring next year with that music, and I'm also hoping to keep the Underground band working as well."
Pat Metheny, Unity Band (Nonesuch, 2012)
Chris Potter, Transatlantic (Red Dot Music, 2011)
Chris Potter, Ultrahang (ArtistShare, 2009)
Chris Potter, Underground (Sunnyside, 2006)
Dave Holland, Not For Nothin (ECM, 2004)
Chris Potter, Gratitude (Verve, 2001)
Page 1: Tamas Talaber
Page 2: Jimmy Katz