Gratitude

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Verve
PERFORMER: Chris Potter (ts), Kevin Hayes (p), Scott Colley (b), Brian Blade (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 549 433-2

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Potter emerged as a talent to watch in trumpeter Red Rodney’s band Red Alert in the Eighties. Since then he has been making all the right career moves by performing with some of jazz’s most discerning elder statesmen, including Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Steve Swallow, Ray Brown and currently as a member of Dave Holland’s highly regarded group.

He has also kept company with some of the shrewdest of today’s younger talents including Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Renée Rosnes, Dave Douglas, Danilo Perez and Bill Stewart.

A saxophonist with an instinctive flair for elegant melodic lines that twist in harmonically astute directions, a graceful rhythmic energy and a saxophone tone that is his own, Potter has quietly come of age through seven albums under his own name before making this major-label debut with Verve.

In contrast to many young jazz musicians in recent years signed in advance of artistic maturity, Potter has had the breadth of experience and acquired the wisdom to create a wholly absorbing album; there is a soaring majesty to his playing on the title track that is sustained through a variety of moods such as the bluesy ‘The Source’ and the funky ‘High Noon’.

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The exemplary rhythm section, with the right mixture of self-possession and friskiness, maintains a balance of competition and co-operation that sustains the creative momentum from beginning to end. Stuart Nicholson