Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

62

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
In the twenty year span since his debut as a leader on Presenting Chris Potter (Criss Cross, 1994), the Chicago born/South Carolina raised artist has been among the most prolific and in-demand reed players in jazz. Having performed and/or recorded with a wide range of artists from guitarist Pat Metheny to pop legends Steely Dan, Potter is most recognized for his numerous recordings with bassist Dave Holland and several outings with drummer Paul Motian. Beginning with Holland's highly-regarded quintet recording Prime Directive (ECM, 1999) through his most recent octet Pathways (Dare2, 2010), Potter has been cited as a distinct voice, clearly standing out even in these larger group settings.

Early on, Potter's work as a leader was being recognized in prestigious publications with his quartet release Vertigo (Concord, 1998) being cited in a number of "best" lists for that year. Long regarded as a premier tenor saxophonist, Potter's previous release as a leader— The Sirens—(ECM, 2013) drew praise as a significant step forward in his increasingly diverse skills as a composer. With Imaginary Cities Potter ventures further into an atmospheric mélange of sounds, adding a string quartet that includes violinist Mark Feldman, to a top-flight septet. Pianist Craig Taborn, guitarist Adam Rogers, bassists Scott Colley and Fima Ephron and drummer Nate Smith—all past Potter colleagues—are joined by Steve Nelson on vibraphone and marimba. Nelson's association with Potter dates back to Holland's previously mentioned quintet.

Imaginary Cities is bookended by "Lament" and "Sky" both featuring Potter's strongest composing and playing in a career that seems to hit a new peak with each release. Potter intentionally allows the strings and septet to play mutually exclusive of each other at certain points and more densely layered at others. In either case he avoids the cloying sentimentality that often plagues string and jazz coalitions. Feldman, flautist Erica von Kleist and David Eggar on cello are empathetic and experienced partners having previously worked on Potter's Song for Anyone (Sunnyside, 2007). The four-part title suite dramatically rises and falls in cinematic blues-laced Gershwin style, punctuated with stand-out improvisational performances across the board.

Imaginary Cities is an expansive album expressing divergent motifs linked together through a central theme. The septet is taut and adventurous; the strings impassioned and thoughtful and Potter's playing is his best to date. Though he emerged as a leader two decades back seemingly fully-formed in every creative aspect, he continues to evolve and surprise. Imaginary Cities is a superb album on every level.

Track Listing: Lament; Imaginary Cities 1: Compassion; Imaginary Cities 2: Dualities; Imaginary Cities 3: Disintegration: Imaginary Cities 4: Rebuilding; Firefly; Shadow Self; Sky.

Personnel: Chris Potter: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Adam Rogers: guitars; Craig Taborn: piano; Steve Nelson: vibraphone, marimba, Fima Ephron: bass guitar; Scott Colley: double bass; Nate Smith: drums; Mark Feldman: violin; Joyce Hammann: violin; Lois Martin: viola; David Eggar: cello.

Title: Imaginary Cities | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Date Detail Price
Jan3Thu
20:00
23th International Jazz Festival Punta Del Este
Jazz International Day At El Sosiego Ranch, Punta Del Este
Maldonado, Uruguay
$100
Jan4Fri
20:00
23th International Jazz Festival Punta Del Este
Jazz International Day At El Sosiego Ranch, Punta Del Este
Maldonado, Uruguay
$100
Jan5Sat
20:00
23th International Jazz Festival Punta Del Este
Jazz International Day At El Sosiego Ranch, Punta Del Este
Maldonado, Uruguay
$100
Jan6Sun
20:00
23th International Jazz Festival Punta Del Este
Jazz International Day At El Sosiego Ranch, Punta Del Este
Maldonado, Uruguay
$100

Related Articles

Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Plays Dom Salvador" CD/LP/Track Review Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Plays Dom Salvador
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 8, 2018
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Don Phipps
Published: October 28, 2018
Read "World Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read "Tell Me The Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Murmur" CD/LP/Track Review Murmur
by Chris May
Published: November 29, 2018
Read "Dionysus" CD/LP/Track Review Dionysus
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: October 31, 2018