Mind-Melting Chris Potter Acapella Performance
Every once in a while I come across a video that’s so amazing and inspiring that I just have to share it. This video of Chris Potter playing Charlie Parker’s confirmation sans accompaniment is more certainly one of those videos.
The video is actually a part of a masterclass DVD series sold by Roberto’s Winds, and you can pick up the entire set here.
What I love about this excerpt is that it demonstrates the multitude of dimensions present in Chris’ playing. Besides truly having a beginning, a middle, and an end, the solo features utterly creative phrasing, and takes the listener on a journey through the entire history of jazz saxophone.
I defy you to watch the video and not be totally blown away and inspired. (…or depressed).
November 28, 2010 @ 10:23 am
Thanks for the vid. Chris Potter plays a whole lotta saxophone here, indeed, though I’m not sure what you meant in your lead-in reference to the ‹‹entire history of jazz saxophone››.
While I hear that CP knows the score — with particularly strong references to both Sonny Rollins, mid-era Coltrane, and perhaps some Dexter Gordon — there’s a lot of jazz sax. history that I don’t hear in this particular performance.
For instance, I’m not hearing any nod to—sticking to major tenor players only—Lester Young (and exponents: Stan Getz, Paul Gonsalves), Ben Webster, Warne Marsh, Wayne Shorter, to name a few.
This is by no means a critique of CP’s playing. After all, his objective is to play like himself — not to simply reveal his influences. Rather, I’m questioning the intent of your remark, and making sure that my ears aren’t missing too much of what’s going on. :-)
November 28, 2010 @ 4:38 pm
To be totally honest, when I saw this video, I did get a bit excited about the musical journey that Chris was taking on, and when I said “entire history of jazz saxophone” what I really should have said is that the solo “spans a wider multitude of styles than the vast majority of sax solos you’ll ever hear.”
For example, in my opinion, Dexter Gordon sounds just like himself through all of his solos. Wayne Shorter sounds like himself though all of his solos. And all of that is awesome, but this was an interesting approach as well.
Of course, it is not really possible to go through the *entire* history of jazz saxophone in one solo, but I heard shades of drastically different styles of playing from Johnny Griffin to Brecker to Lee Konitz to Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and probably others as well.
So to answer your question Rick, I don’t think that your ears were missing anything, as I probably went a bit overboard with my opinion here.
Thanks for your insights!