It is a great pleasure to welcome this Potlatch album which was released at the tail end of 2022. From 1998 until 2017 the independent French label released a steady stream of albums, averaging between two and three a year. Then, nothing was released in 2018, one album in 2019, nothing in 2020, two in 2021 and, now, one in 2022. Yes, four releases in five years. Given the dates, the slump was clearly not covid-related... Nonetheless, the good news is that Potlatch is still alive and kicking. Even better, this album features the Geneva-born, Paris resident Bertrand Denzler; the tenor saxophonist has been a stalwart of Potlatch, here making his seventh appearance on the label, having featured on three of those last four releases. He is joined in a duo by the New York-born, Zurich resident Jason Kahn who is heard on electronics and is making his first Potlatch appearance. The two were recorded, in concert, at the Tiasci school of Indian music, in Paris, on December 10th, 2021. The recording, mixing and mastering were done by Kahn. The album comprises one continuous track of just under thirty-five minutes. It begins with the unmistakable snap, crackle and pop sounds of electronics, soon joined by ambiguous noises which may originate from the saxophone. Gradually, these become more recognizable as the identifiable sounds of a blown reed ring out. While the saxophone and electronics never exactly blend together or complement one another, neither do they clash nor get in each other's way. Overall, the electronic sounds occupy rather more of the soundscape than the saxophone, maybe because Kahn had control of the mixing. As a duo, the album is sure to please devotees of either player and to interest casual listeners also. Maybe most importantly, the end product is adventurous enough to be totally at home in the Potlatch catalog. Devotees of the label can welcome it with open arms.
Bertrand Denzler: tenor saxophone; Jason Kahn: electronics
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.