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Jazz - Released February 22, 2019 | Edition Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released February 4, 2013 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The Sirens is Chris Potter's debut as a leader for ECM but he’s no stranger to the label. He recorded as a member of Dave Holland's band, and collaborated with Paul Motian and Jason Moran on Lost in a Dream. The saxophonist’s quintet here includes pianist Craig Taborn -- a member of Potter's electric ensemble Underground -- bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Eric Harland, and the relatively unknown David Virelles, texturing the proceedings on prepared piano, celeste, and harmonium. Creating a concept album as your first offering for a new label is a brave endeavor, but Potter rises to it. The Sirens is inspired by his re-reading of Homer's The Odyssey; he was moved by the enduring qualities of humanity in that epic, and wrote the entire album in two weeks. Potter's inherent lyricism is evident from opener "Wine Dark Sea," that offers the feel of the first romantic, tentative steps when embarking on an adventure. After a brief intro, Grenadier sets a groove articulated by Taborn, whose painterly chords offer a palette for Harland. When Potter commences the melody, that "sea" is wide open with possibility. His songlike quality is underscored by Taborn's beautiful fills and comps. Potter's tenor solo is warm, inviting, searching. "Dawn (With Her Rosy Fingers)" is introduced by Grenadier's melodic bassline and Taborn's tasteful coloration. When Potter enters, his lines become spidery, alternately inquisitive and emotionally expressive. On the title cut he plays both bass clarinet and tenor. Grenadier's bass is bowed and the sense of seductive foreboding is made plain, even as the lyric line remains mysterious and spare. The entire tune becomes a lament in revelation after the bassist's gorgeous argo solo. Potter's soprano soars in "Penelope," yet it remains, true to form, expressive of only what is necessary to communicate the music's dictates and not his considerable athleticism. The gentle sting provided by Harland and Taborn makes the tune irresistible. "Kalypso" is a taut post-bop tune with wonderful articulations from Harland, Taborn, and Grenadier locking it down even as they grow it out. The culmination of drama and sense of emotional homecoming expressed in "Stranger at the Gate" would have made it a fitting end piece -- were it not for the whispering duet between Virelles and Taborn on "The Shades" that gives the set its sense of rest and closure. Potter's vision and compositions on The Sirens never lose sight of his goal: portraying the eternal essence of humanity in the mythos of his subject; his poetic lyricism as a soloist, and his empathy as a bandleader are consummate. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 16, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released February 4, 2013 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The Sirens is Chris Potter's debut as a leader for ECM but he’s no stranger to the label. He recorded as a member of Dave Holland's band, and collaborated with Paul Motian and Jason Moran on Lost in a Dream. The saxophonist’s quintet here includes pianist Craig Taborn -- a member of Potter's electric ensemble Underground -- bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Eric Harland, and the relatively unknown David Virelles, texturing the proceedings on prepared piano, celeste, and harmonium. Creating a concept album as your first offering for a new label is a brave endeavor, but Potter rises to it. The Sirens is inspired by his re-reading of Homer's The Odyssey; he was moved by the enduring qualities of humanity in that epic, and wrote the entire album in two weeks. Potter's inherent lyricism is evident from opener "Wine Dark Sea," that offers the feel of the first romantic, tentative steps when embarking on an adventure. After a brief intro, Grenadier sets a groove articulated by Taborn, whose painterly chords offer a palette for Harland. When Potter commences the melody, that "sea" is wide open with possibility. His songlike quality is underscored by Taborn's beautiful fills and comps. Potter's tenor solo is warm, inviting, searching. "Dawn (With Her Rosy Fingers)" is introduced by Grenadier's melodic bassline and Taborn's tasteful coloration. When Potter enters, his lines become spidery, alternately inquisitive and emotionally expressive. On the title cut he plays both bass clarinet and tenor. Grenadier's bass is bowed and the sense of seductive foreboding is made plain, even as the lyric line remains mysterious and spare. The entire tune becomes a lament in revelation after the bassist's gorgeous argo solo. Potter's soprano soars in "Penelope," yet it remains, true to form, expressive of only what is necessary to communicate the music's dictates and not his considerable athleticism. The gentle sting provided by Harland and Taborn makes the tune irresistible. "Kalypso" is a taut post-bop tune with wonderful articulations from Harland, Taborn, and Grenadier locking it down even as they grow it out. The culmination of drama and sense of emotional homecoming expressed in "Stranger at the Gate" would have made it a fitting end piece -- were it not for the whispering duet between Virelles and Taborn on "The Shades" that gives the set its sense of rest and closure. Potter's vision and compositions on The Sirens never lose sight of his goal: portraying the eternal essence of humanity in the mythos of his subject; his poetic lyricism as a soloist, and his empathy as a bandleader are consummate. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released December 4, 2020 | Edition Records

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With There is a Tide, Chris Potter has made a good showing, surrounding himself with Chris Potter on piano, Chris Potter on guitar, Chris Potter on bass, Chris Potter on clarinet, Chris Potter on flute, Chris Potter on drums and, of course, Chris Potter on saxophone! The American jazzman had fun by taking sole charge of all the instruments on this album. This exercise could have been nothing more than an amusing footnote, but the virtuoso impresses with his overall vision and the care he brings to the work as a whole, both in execution and in composition. "On a technical level, making this recording required the use of many different skills, I’ve never been so acutely aware of my limitations.  In addition to the difficulty of trying to get good performances on every instrument, there was the challenge of recording without a proper studio.  Most importantly, there was the necessity of letting the big picture unfold as I went along, paying attention to details while remaining focused on the goal of creating a coherent, unified whole.". Potter was also wise not to centre his record exclusively around the pandemic, and brings in themes like I Had a Dream which evokes the Black Lives Matter movement. "I offer it as a musical perspective on the issues we are facing:  the importance of community at a time of physical distance, the need for strong leadership, the necessity of supporting vulnerable members of society who have always gotten the short end of the stick, the troubled relationship we have with the natural world, and the difficulty of dealing with all the fear and uncertainty we face." The saxophonist is equally aware of the fact that his message can be communicated without words. "Of course part of the beauty of instrumental music is how its meaning is defined by the listener, but these are some of the thoughts I had while creating it."© Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 14, 2021 | Edition Records

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Anyone else would be content to be a master of the sax: but Chris Potter is a glutton. On Circuits, which came out in 2019, tenor and soprano weren't enough for him: he also got stuck in with clarinet, flute, sampler, guitar, keyboards and percussion! With James Francies on keyboards and Eric Harland on drums, the kid from Chicago led his trio through some inspired, groovy exchanges. Nothing over the top: just intense, rich music - and that's what we're getting now, two years on, in Sunrise Reprise from the Chris Potter Circuits Trio. In September 2020, a short window between lockdowns allowed the three musicians to get together to record five themes. For months, these three musicians had been deprived of the chance to play live: they were hungry. It is little wonder then that they produced this creative torrent that lasted for over an hour! “All of a sudden we’re in the studio," Potter recalls. "I felt such a release, a sense of freedom to create and to express ourselves collectively. It’s this that has been the central part of this album – it’s about the trio, our shared energy, reflecting our own thoughts and feelings from all that’s going on in the world. Eric, James, and I really needed to PLAY, to try to put into music all the intense feelings of the previous few months. The close bond we had developed playing this music together on the road led to what we felt as a cathartic musical experience in the studio, documented in one very special evening." From the first seconds of Sunrise and Joshua Trees, with its electronic post-futurist vibe, the artists' musical languages start enmeshing and intertwining. Chris Potter gets off to a magnificent start, unhurried, getting the placement of every note just right. Both Harland's drumsticks and Francies' keyboards are controlled and purposeful. On Serpentine, they really let rip, but the final, pared-down ballad, The Peanut with its generous, easy space, is where their exchanges really become sublime. For all the abruptness and freedom of this session, the artists never rush: on the contrary, everything here is carefully weighed out, thought through - and simply beautiful. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 6, 2020 | Edition Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Verve

Saxophonist Chris Potter honors the legacy of some of jazz's greats on Gratitude, his debut for Verve. The award-winning virtuoso and composer is compelling on his tributes to John Coltrane, Eddie Harris, Wayne Shorter, Charlie Parker, and several other legendary saxophonists. Gratitude contains nine original compositions written by Potter, who plays tenor saxophone on the majority of the songs, switches to soprano saxophone on "Eurydice," his tribute to Wayne Shorter, and plays the alto saxophone and Chinese wood flute on "Star Eyes," the tribute to Charlie Parker. Chris Potter is outstanding on bass clarinet on his composition "The Visitor" for Lester Young and captures the ambience that reflects the many styles of these accomplished players, including sliding from one note to a higher or lower note with intermediate pitches on "The Source," his tribute to the glissandi (sheets of sound) of John Coltrane, and capturing the dense, soulful sound of Joe Henderson on "Shadow." Gratitude also includes a song titled "What's New," for the current generation which completes the set. Potter, leading his great quartet of contemporaries -- keyboardist Kevin Hayes, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Brian Blade -- makes a significant contribution to jazz history with this project and offers musical statements and voices that are truly varied in scope and deep in their essence. © Paula Edelstein /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 12, 2021 | Edition Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Chris Potter gets more and more adventurous. On this follow-up to the strong Gratitude, the tenor and soprano saxophonist beefs up strong writing and heady group interplay with occasional sampled sounds and miscellaneous textures like clavinet and reed organ. True to form, he plays additional wind instruments -- alto flute and bass clarinet in this case -- and isn't afraid of overdubbing them to create lush orchestration, on tracks like "Snake Oil" and "Any Moment Now." On the haunting "Invisible Man" he even doubles the alto flute melody with his singing voice. Not until the fifth track, a Meters-like adaptation of the spiritual "Children Go," do you hear a 4/4 tempo; loping lines over odd meters prevail, with pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Bill Stewart expertly laying down the edgy grooves. (Like on Gratitude, Hays doubles on Fender Rhodes.) John Scofield contributes tart solos on three tracks, while Adam Rogers adds nylon-string and slide colors on two others. The sweeping, Metheny-esque harmonies of "Highway One" bring the program to a head, followed by a closing bass clarinet/piano duo on Willie Nelson's "Just as I Am." As a jazz record, Traveling Mercies is very much a product of its post-millennial times, but it still comes across as highly individual. Its value will be lasting. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 2, 2020 | Edition Records

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Jazz - Released April 23, 2021 | Edition Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Concord Jazz

Backed by pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Billy Hart, Chris Potter delivers yet another powerful album. His playing and writing ascend another rung on the ladder of sophistication and intensity. Leaving aside his alto sax, Potter opts for tenor on most tracks, but he plays soprano on the quasi-waltz "Book of Kells" and the standard "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" (Mehldau sits out on the latter). He also employs bass clarinet on the somber "Chorale." The multiple horn overdubs with which Potter experimented on his previous Concord album, Pure, are absent here. Billy Hart is especially well-suited for the rock-like rhythm of "Nero's Fiddle," the 5/4 boogaloo of "Moving In," and the oblique funk of "Rhubarb." "The Forest" contains a harmonized passage that sounds reminiscent of Chick Corea. "South for the Winter" highlights Potter's mellower side, while "Pelog" and "Old Faithful" are solid, midtempo blowing vehicles. Concept-wise, this isn't Potter's boldest offering. But the playing is emotionally charged and technically superb. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 6, 2011 | Criss Cross Jazz

Many people in the jazz world associate trumpeter Alex Sipiagin with the Charles Mingus ghost band, but the albums he has recorded under his own name haven't been especially Mingus-minded, and that is true of Destinations Unknown, which finds the Russian trumpeter leading a sextet that includes Chris Potter on tenor sax, David Binney on alto sax, Craig Taborn on acoustic piano and electric keyboards, Boris Kozlov on upright bass, and Eric Harland on drums. Any album that features Potter extensively is usually worth hearing, and this 2011 recording is no exception. Sipiagin gives Potter plenty of solo space, which is a definite plus; Sipiagin was lucky to have Potter as a sideman. But Binney is an equally valuable contributor to Destinations Unknown, and Sipiagin skillfully oversees a three-horn front line (trumpet and two saxophones) on a session that spotlights original compositions and doesn't contain any standards at all. The post-bop material tends to be on the cerebral side; that is true of "Tempest in the Tea Cup" and "Videlles," as well as "Fast Forward," "Calming," "Next Stop: Tsukiji," and "Fermata Scondola." But like a lot of jazz albums that thrive on complexity and intellect, Destinations Unknown reveals more and more of its charms with each listen. It should be noted that Sipiagin employs both acoustic and electric instruments on this album; the trumpeter isn't shy about letting Taborn solo on electric keyboards as well as acoustic piano. And yet, this release doesn't really venture into fusion territory; despite Taborn's presence on electric keyboards at times, Destinations Unknown is essentially a post-bop album rather than a fusion album. It is also a skillful demonstration of what Sipiagin has to offer as a trumpeter, composer, and group leader. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 19, 1997 | Concord Jazz

Working with drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Dave Holland, and guitarist John Scofield, saxophonist Chris Potter recorded his most adventurous record to date with Unspoken. Although his powerhouse rhythm section sometimes overwhelms him, Potter flexes more creative muscle throughout Unspoken, resulting in an engaging, frequently provocative listen. © Leo Stanley /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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In past recordings, Chris Potter has dedicated several of them to his heroes and influences, reflecting the diversity of his style and how he loves the tenor saxophonists who came before him. Though the title of this one is Song for Anyone, referring to those who may have passed away in either anonymity or eulogized, this CD is not necessarily dedicated to a nebulous "them." It is played and acknowledged as such directly for Michael Brecker, thus taking on a somber overall tone, accented by woodwinds and strings, making for an at times reflective and humbling requiem for the late contemporary jazz superstar. Melancholy moods begin immediately on "The Absence" as Potter's sax and the flute of Erica VonKleist set the mood immediately. VonKleist is a major player on this recording as her pastoral tones build powerfully and subside during "Closer to the Sun," and contrast with Potter's whimsical and inquisitive themes for the light funk chamber piece "Chief Seattle." The strings accent the modal horn lines for "Against the Wind," while the interactive "Family Tree" is a song of repast and memories, featuring the throaty bassoon of Michael Rabinowitz. A pensive, thoughtful piece, "The Arc of a Day" reflects a frame of mind involved with shock, juxtaposed against the drum inserts of Adam Cruz, then turns into a sheer free and anguished frenzy. "Cupid & Psyche" is a purposefully disjointed number, mysterious and elusive emotionally, while the final piece, "All by All" has a country blues or "Shenandoah Waltz" feel, and is a rustic selection. The string players meld well, not as an afterthought, but as the straw that stirs the drink. Rabinowitz, clarinetist Greg Tardy, violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Scott Colley, and guitarist Steve Cardenas are all truly outstanding players, leaders in their own right, and contribute a rich harmonious sheen to this well conceived and executed music. A departure from Potter's small group efforts, this project is close to perfect, and considering his high-level output, may be the highlight of his discography. Everyone should hear Song for Anyone. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | ECM

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Chris Potter in the magazine