Chris Potter | Szold Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Chris Potter All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Nov. 29, 5 & 8 p.m. 2015

In the last few years reedist Chris Potter—arguably one of the most influential saxophonists of the last two decades—has pursued a series of bold projects, expanding beyond the postbop foundation he built his career on. Earlier this year he reached a new level of ambition with Imaginary Cities (ECM), an orchestral outing that focuses more on his writing and arranging than his protean skills as a soloist. I admire artists who devote themselves to trying new things, but despite a rhythm section that includes two basses, guitar, piano, mallet percussion, and drums, the results feel a bit lugubrious, leaving the leader’s improvisational brio stranded in some sonic mud. Thankfully he hasn’t forsaken his roots, and this weekend he returns to town fronting an excellent rhythm team in bassist Scott Colley and drummer Adam Cruz, a limber duo who will not only help show off Potter’s deep-seated harmonic mastery but also remind listeners just how hard he can swing.

Peter Margasak

Price: $25, $23 members

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