Post Bop / 21st Century Modern / Fusion / Eclectic Fusion • United States
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A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Down Beat called him "One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet" while Jazz Times identified him as "a figure of international renown." Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply, "one of the best musicians around," a sentiment shared by the readers of Down Beat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine's 2008 Readers Poll.

A potent improvisor and the youngest musician ever to win Denmark's Jazzpar Prize, Potter's impressive discography includes 15 albums as a leader and sideman appearances on over 100 albums. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his solo work on "In Vogue," a track from Joanne Brackeen’s 1999 album Pink Elephant Magic, and was prominently featured on Steely Dan’s Grammy-winning album from 2000,
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CHRIS POTTER Discography

CHRIS POTTER albums / top albums

CHRIS POTTER Presenting Chris Potter album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Presenting Chris Potter
Post Bop 1993
CHRIS POTTER Concentric Circles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Concentric Circles
Post Bop 1994
CHRIS POTTER Pure album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Post Bop 1995
CHRIS POTTER Sundiata album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Post Bop 1995
CHRIS POTTER Moving In album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Moving In
Post Bop 1996
CHRIS POTTER Chris Potter &  Kenny Werner: Concord Duo Series Volume Ten album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chris Potter & Kenny Werner: Concord Duo Series Volume Ten
Post Bop 1996
CHRIS POTTER Unspoken album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Post Bop 1997
CHRIS POTTER Vertigo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Post Bop 1998
CHRIS POTTER Gratitude album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Post Bop 2001
CHRIS POTTER This Will Be: The Jazzpar Prize album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Will Be: The Jazzpar Prize
Post Bop 2001
CHRIS POTTER Traveling Mercies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Traveling Mercies
Post Bop 2002
CHRIS POTTER Underground album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
21st Century Modern 2006
CHRIS POTTER Chris Potter 10 : Song for Anyone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chris Potter 10 : Song for Anyone
21st Century Modern 2007
CHRIS POTTER Ultrahang album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eclectic Fusion 2009
CHRIS POTTER Coming Together album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Coming Together
Post Bop 2009
CHRIS POTTER Transatlantic album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
21st Century Modern 2011
CHRIS POTTER The Sirens album cover 4.79 | 5 ratings
The Sirens
Post Bop 2013
CHRIS POTTER Imaginary Cities album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Imaginary Cities
21st Century Modern 2015
CHRIS POTTER The Dreamer Is the Dream album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
The Dreamer Is the Dream
21st Century Modern 2017
CHRIS POTTER Circuits album cover 4.95 | 2 ratings
Fusion 2019
CHRIS POTTER There is a Tide album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
There is a Tide
Fusion 2020


CHRIS POTTER live albums

CHRIS POTTER Lift Quartet Live at Village Vanguard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lift Quartet Live at Village Vanguard
Post Bop 2004
CHRIS POTTER Chris Potter Underground ‎– Follow The Red Line : Live At The Village Vanguard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chris Potter Underground ‎– Follow The Red Line : Live At The Village Vanguard
Eclectic Fusion 2007

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Album · 2019 · Fusion
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Steve Wyzard

Don't let the word "much" throw you. This is not a long, meandering album. Rather it's an unparalleled exercise in how much music four gifted musicians can pack into a visceral 61:35. A huge departure from his relatively restrained work on ECM, not only is Circuits Chris Potter's best album yet, but it's also a strong contender for one of the best of the last decade.

This 21st century fusion masterpiece open with a brief "Invocation", a multi-tracked chorale with layers of saxes and clarinets. The temperature rises with the massive thrust of "Hold it", where James Francies's keyboards remind one of the mid-1970s performances of Hancock/Zawinul/Duke. "The Nerve" is this album's "Eastern"-flavored number, beginning with a loop-pedal of multi-tracked flutes before settling into a groove. "Koutome" features a bass clarinet intro and the bubbling/bustling drums and percussion of Eric Harland before a segue into the chaotic "Circuits". More tape-loops, a mind-bending synth solo, and sax lines of Monkian-complexity almost beg for transcription: I dare you!

The non-pastoral "Green Pastures" is probably this album's most accessible composition. After a synth bass/bass clarinet opening, the Michael Brecker comparison Potter is often saddled with applies here. "Queens of Brooklyn" provides a brief respite from the intensity, with mellow soprano sax over piano chords, before dissolving into a brooding sax/clarinet chorus backed by guitar (played by Potter). Then strap yourself in for the ridiculously speedy tempi of "Exclamation" and the rhythmic, keyboard-heavy "Pressed for Time". Potter and Harland seemingly never stop soloing, while Francies contributes a Fender Rhodes showpiece. Then sit back and wipe your brow when it's all over. Let it also be said that Linley Marthe contributes phenomenal electric bass to "The Nerve", "Koutome", "Circuits", and "Exclamation".

I'm not sure if Potter painstakingly writes out all his lines/arrangements beforehand, but whether or not he does, it's obvious a lot of time, work and thought went into this recording. Circuits (appearing on the Edition label) is one of those albums you can listen to for the rest of your life and still not hear everything. Some will say, "there's too much going on" or "this is just showing off", as this is a far more extroverted album than much of Potter's previous work. Yet Potter and Harland remain leaders in the jazz field on their respective instruments, while both Francies and Marthe are names to be reckoned with based on this album. Until hearing Circuits, I might have proclaimed Dave Holland's Prism album (2013, also featuring Eric Harland) to be the clearest candidate for Jazz Album of the 2010's Decade. Now, I'm not so sure.

CHRIS POTTER Imaginary Cities

Album · 2015 · 21st Century Modern
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This album was my personal introduction to Chris Potter's Underground Orchestra. Being the first one on the ECM label, this album also features a string quartet in addition to the lineup.

The use of the string quartet adds a nice color and variety to the album. On tracks such as "Dualities" and "Shadow Self" the string quartet is used in a way that even has classical implications - one might not be wrong in calling this third-stream at points. Fortunately the string quartet is neither overused or underused, but disappears and reappears throughout the album with perfect balance.

With an ensemble of this type, each track was written with creative form. Rather than follow the typical pattern of playing the head, going into a solo section, and going back to the head to close, most of the tracks on this album have complicated forms that feature instrumentals with the string quartet between solos. "Disintigration" even starts as an open, rubato free jazz track before everybody joins in on a unison melody. "Shadow Self" starts as a literal classical string quartet in the style of Dmitri Shostakovich before Potter comes in with a short bass clarinet solo.

My personal favorite of the album is Lament. Chris Potter plays one of the most memorable solos I have ever heard him play and it builds perfectly from start to finish.

One disappointment I had with this album was that it only features the piano player, Craig Taborn, on one track. His solo on "Sky" is pretty good, but I was hoping for more.


Album · 2013 · Post Bop
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Although American saxophonist Chris Potter has a fairly longstanding history with ECM Records as a sideman for Dave Holland, 2013's The Sirens marks his first appearance as a bandleader on this prestigious jazz label - and, while leading a band is nothing new for Potter (he's been doing so for roughly twenty years), the music heard on this ECM debut solidifies his place as one of the most talented players and composers in modern jazz. A mind blowing observation that is as warm and relatable as it is larger than life and epic in scope, The Sirens is nothing short of a masterpiece.

When listening to The Sirens, it is Chris Potter's dynamic approach to both tenor and soprano saxophone playing that immediately grabs my attention - in addition to having a tremendous musical vocabulary and fluid playing style, his solos convey a level of lyricism that is only heard from the 'best of the best', so to speak. Of course, he's playing over plenty of tasty chord changes, subtle (yet memorable) riffs, and one of the best rhythm sections I've heard on a recent jazz recording, but all of this serves to accentuate the brilliance of Potter's playing and the phenomenal group chemistry heard on this recording.

From the album's most intense moments on "Wayfinder" to its most serene on "Nausikaa", a strong sense of group interplay is evident; although the compositions leave plenty of room to breathe, small percussive details or piano flourishes always make sure that the listener's attention doesn't wander. I especially have to mention drummer Eric Harland, as he hardly plays a groove on The Sirens that doesn't catch me immediately. His ear for interesting rhythmic patterns is apparent from start to finish here, and he has all of the technical chops to make those patterns translate beautifully into a recording.

The Sirens is, to my ears, one of the most expressive jazz albums in recent memory; music this dynamic, moody, and captivating isn't something that even the most active listeners get to experience very often. I'm very glad that I've had the chance to experience it, though, and I will highly recommend Chris Potter's ECM debut to any fan of post-bop. A masterpiece of the highest order!

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