Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chris Potter The Sirens ECM CD: B0017932-02, 2013 release

             Chris Potter has been a major player on the modern jazz scene since the late 80’s, when he was an 18 year old prodigy playing in bebop bands. Since that time he has done it all, playing on Steely Dan releases; backing Dave Holland on the 2002 Grammy winner What Goes Around; and performing with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield.
            The Sirens is his first CD release leading his own ensemble, with Craig Taborn on piano; David Virelles on piano, celeste, and harmonium; Larry Grenadier on bass; and Eric Harland on drums. All talented and respected players.  Potter got the idea for the music from going back and rereading a classic. “I’d re-read The Odyssey after many years and was inspired to write music with that epic, mythic mood in mind.”
            And just like The Odyssey, the CD is filled with music that range over a variety of emotions and moods. Some of it sounds like a soundtrack to a 50’s detective movie, at other times it sounds as romantic as jazz can be. All nine cuts on the CD feature Potter’s distinctive sax sound, smooth with a touch of bop to it at times, and he gives enough room for the members of the band all to shine too.  You don’t have to be a fan of ancient mythology to enjoy the album.
            Chris Potter will be playing selections from The Sirens, as well as from all aspects of his career, this Saturday at the Lakeland Jazz Festival. This years festival also features Cleveland’s own Jamey Haddad and his Trio on Friday night, and the Lakeland Community College and Cleveland State University Jazz Bands on Sunday.

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