Chris Potter: Gratitude
The opening line for John Coltrane, “The Source,” is far from what you’d expect. There are no hairpin turns or quicksilver lines along the path of “Giant Steps.” Instead, we get more of a funky Nalwins groove. “Shadow” is for Joe Henderson, but its only hint of identification is the opening line, which inverts one of Joe’s own melodies. “Sun King” is an attention getting item, with its trip through several odd meters. Three standards fit in nicely with Potter’s originals, but they get more than just the standard treatment. “Body and Soul” finds Potter picking up his bass clarinet for a duo performance with bassist Scott Colley. “Star Eyes” is in the spirit of Bird, but takes flight in 7/4. Finally, “What’s New” seems to ask a musical question with Potter going solo on tenor.
Aside from those specific performances already mentioned, Potter picks up his soprano sax, alto flute, and Chinese wood flute on various numbers. Plus, Kevin Hays utilizes the Fender Rhodes in addition to his work on acoustic piano. Bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade round out Potter’s superlative quartet and help make Gratitude the lofty event that it is. Potter fanatics will be elated and newcomers could easily become converts.
Track Listing: 1. Source (for John Coltrane), The Shadow (for Joe Henderson), Sun King (for Sonny Rollins), High Noon (for Eddie Harris), Eurydice (for Wayne Shorter), The Mind's Eye Intro, The Mind's Eye (for Michael Brecker & Joe Lovano), Gratitude (for all the Past Masters), The Visitor (for Lester Young), Body & Soul (for Coleman Hawkins), Star Eyes (for Charlie Parker), Vox Humana (for Ornette Coleman), What's New (for the Current Generation)
Personnel: Chris Potter (tenor sax, soprano sax, alto sax, bass clarinet, alto flute, Chinese wood flute), Kevin Hays (piano, electric piano), Scott Colley (bass), Brian Blade (drums)
Record Label: Verve Music Group