258

Chris Potter: Gratitude

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Part of a triumvirate of heavy hitting young saxophonists that includes Joshua Redman and Eric Alexander, Chris Potter finally makes his major label debut on Verve with Gratitude. And while his track record via small label efforts for Criss Cross and Concord is without question, one always has to approach an artist’s first major label release with a bit of caution. On the surface, it’s positively clear that a “concept” is at work here. Fortunately, Potter’s homage to his inspirational peers is without contrivance or imitation. Instead, his original lines hint more at the spirit of such artists as Coltrane, Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Joe Lovano, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Ornette Coleman.

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 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Whirlwind" CD/LP/Track Review Whirlwind
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Intercambio" CD/LP/Track Review Intercambio
by James Nadal
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Awakening" CD/LP/Track Review Awakening
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!