BBC – Music – Assessment of Chris Potter

The Sirens is saxophonist Chris Potter’s first ECM launch as a frontrunner, a major milestone which marks the fruits of his inexorable rise over twenty years.

Though he has recorded for a good collection of labels since his 1994 debut album, ECM is considered one of a choose few (together with Blue Observe) which says one thing particular a couple of musician.

Whereas that is Potter’s ECM debut as a frontrunner, he has recorded for the label earlier than with Dave Holland and Paul Motian, simply two of the numerous bands in his spectacular CV.

To mark the event, Potter has give you an atypical album for him. Moderately than a collection of originals plus requirements, Potter composed a cycle of songs with out phrases.

Written in simply two weeks, it was impressed by re-reading Homer’s The Odyssey, and he had its epic, mythic temper in thoughts. These unfamiliar with historical Greek literature needn’t be daunted, as information of the guide will not be crucial to understand the moods and melodies of The Sirens.

In an acoustic quintet, Potter is joined by three esteemed former bandmates – pianist Craig Taborn from Potter’s electrical band Underground, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland – plus relative newcomer David Virelles on ready piano, celeste and harmonium.

Though unusual, the usage of two pianists could be very profitable, with the 2 serving completely different functions: Taborn on grand piano acts as a standard accompanist-soloist, whereas Virelles provides coloration and environment.

Their most notable mixture right here is the beguiling improvised duet The Shades, which gives a phenomenal and relaxed near the album. 

The quintet creates music that constantly emphasises environment over pyrotechnics. At its coronary heart is Potter’s personal enjoying, as full-toned and guaranteed as ever. He alternates between tenor and soprano saxophones and bass clarinet, on any piece choosing whichever tone is most atmospheric.

So, on the album’s prolonged title monitor, he chooses bass clarinet, though its tone is at odds with the track of the Sirens, however the finish result’s simply as irresistible.

The union of ECM with Potter guarantees to be a contented and fruitful one.

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