10

Chris Potter: Circuits

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Potter: Circuits
Circuits is, stylistically, relatively far removed from Chris Potter's previous album, The Dreamer Is The Dream (ECM, 2017) but is certainly no less attractive. Whilst the earlier album is, generally, more sedate (with some exceptions), this record is full of heterogeneous, unanticipated delights and handbrake rhythm turns. That said, the short-ish opener, "Invocation," with Potter on bass clarinet, atypically evinces a Duke Ellington-ish charm with an emphasis on elegant counterpoint. This makes "Hold It" sound funky by contrast. But it's actually a taut, multi-tracked piece held in place by Eric Harland's crisp drumming.

The spacey sampling at the start of "The Nerve" gives way within a couple of minutes to an Eastern-influenced, time-complex number, underpinned by Linley Marthe's electric bass. Rhythmically, "Koutomé" has African overtones which are enhanced by the sparse bass clarinet lines that establish the melody. The title track is polyrhythmic and rock-infused, the horns are again multi-tracked and the piece is suffused with resonant bass guitar. It's a gripping, fascinating, near-ten minute foray. Harland's drumming towards the conclusion is particularly vibrant.

Both the pastoral "Green Pastures," with its delicate melody, and the wistful ballad-esque arrangement on "Queens Of Brooklyn," form a natural interlude from the surrounding livelier tunes. The helter-skelter approach to the appropriately-titled "Exclamation" renders it a complete blast, replete with exciting twists and turns. The set concludes with the keyboard-orientated "Pressed For Time," but again Harland's presence is essential, providing a vital, uncompromising beat. Circuits carries considerable visceral heft and largely thanks to Potter's multi-instrumental versatility there's an occasional big band feel to the tracks. In any event, this album demonstrates, once again, the mark of Potter's true virtuosity and ingenuity. Circuits is surely an early contender for album of the year.

Track Listing

Invocation; Hold It; The Nerve; Koutomé; Circuits; Green Pastures; Queens of Brooklyn; Exclamation; Pressed For Time.

Personnel

Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinets, flutes, sampler, guitars, keyboards, percussion; James Francies: keyboards; Eric Harland: drums; Linley Marthe: electric bass (3-5, 8).

Album information

Title: Circuits | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Edition Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read All Figured Out
All Figured Out
Derek Brown and The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra
Read Supersense
Supersense
Steph Richards
Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.