Skip to main content
Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Since signing to British label Edition Records, Chris Potter has released almost one CD a year and it’s not too many, given the quality of his output.

After his previous album, “Got the Key to the Kingdom“, recorded live at the Village Vanguard (cf. review on this site), the saxophonist has once again recorded with a quartet, but in the studio. And not just any quartet: no less than Brad Mehldau on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums, i.e. half of the late Wayne Shorter’s quartet. But the parallel ends here, for Potter‘s aesthetic has nothing to do with Shorter’s.

Why change the formula when you’ve got an excellent band like the one the saxophonist has been recording with lately (Craig Taborn, Scott Colley & Marcus Gilmore for the record)? There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that Potter has known his new bandmates for a long time, even though he had never recorded with all three of them before. On the other hand, it’s a repertoire entirely from his own pen that the saxophonist offers us here. Finally, whereas his previous recording featured exclusively his flamboyant tenor, here he also uses on two themes the soprano and, on a magnificent ballad dedicated to his wife, the bass clarinet.

It is therefore a less “muscular” aesthetic that Potter brings to the fore here, and his choice of partners is totally appropriate in this respect. Brad Mehldau is a pianist of incomparable finesse in terms of touch, harmonic science and taste for melody. As for the Patitucci/Blade duo, apart from the individual qualities of each of its members – which are great – they have acquired through contact with Wayne Shorter an ability to work in a way that is both tonic and refined, which puts them undeniably in the upper echelons of rhythmic pairs.

Chris Potter offers us an album of great maturity in terms of compositions, collective playing and solo interventions. An album that confirms his status as a musician of the first rank, whose career as a leader has now spanned three decades.

Line up:

Chris Potter: saxophones, bass clarinet

Brad Mehldau: piano

John Patitucci: double bass

Brian Blade: drums

Eagles Point is a Hit Couleurs Jazz. It was released on March 8th 2024 by the label Edition Records.

©Photo Header Dave Stapleton 

Leave a Reply