287

Chris Potter: Underground and Hands

By

Sign in to view read count








Chris Potter

Underground

Sunnyside

2006


Kasper Villaume

Hands

Stunt

2006


Acclaimed saxophonist Chris Potter has already earned two recording credits for 2006, though on remarkably different releases. The first—a Potter-led session entitled Underground—finds him in the electrifying company of guitarists Wayne Krantz and Adam Rogers, keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Nate Smith. The second album—Danish pianist Kasper Villaume's Hands—sees his sax join a more traditional barnstorming quartet rounded out by Chris Minh Doky (bass) and Ali Jackson (drums). Outside of Potter himself, these two releases have little in common—speaking, as they do, in different jazz tongues. However, both are well worth exploring.

With Underground, we encounter exactly what the album's title suggests—a blend of voices, beneath the mainstream, at times dark, rich and earthy in tone. Of the nine tracks included, six are penned by Potter, each nicely tailored to the group's collective identity. Most notable among these six are the tightly wrangled bedlam of "New Best Western , "The Wheel with its four-way fragments weaving in knots over a single repeated phrase and the title track in which the groove is so deep and growling that the 11 minutes it stretches across are almost too much to bear. Underground is a loose yet charged affair, varied yet nicely tied in together and manages to retain the rough edge and fluidity of a live performance—an energy toward which this group clearly strives.

As for Kasper's Villaume's Hands, again we are given what the title implies. By the nimble fingers of the album's quartet, notes bend and swing and flatten by the armful. Unlike Underground's freer groove, this session is straight-ahead with all the trimmings. Over its eight robust numbers, Hands covers a broad range of moods and rhythms. On the opening track, for instance, the ensemble winds its way, with swiftness and dexterity, up and down Monk's "Green Chimneys . On Villaume's own "Cloudy & Blue , by contrast, he and Potter restrain their expressions to a melancholic pace, while Minh Doky and Jackson color the gloom with bends and brushes, respectively. Both recordings offer nothing less than a set of skillfully composed songs, played with feeling and vigor. And though they may not change the world, these albums certainly make for a memorable evening.

Tracks and Personnel



Underground

Tracks: Next Best Western; Morning Bell; Nudnik; Lotus Blossom; Big Top; The Wheel; Celestial Nomad; Underground; Yesterday.

Personnel: Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Wayne Krantz: guitar; Craig Taborn: fender rhodes; Nate Smith: drums; Adam Rogers: additional guitar on "The Wheel and "Yesterday .



Hands

Tracks:

Personnel:

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Green Mountain Jazz" Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.