Album Reviews

Chris Potter

The Dreamer is the Dream

Artist:     Chris Potter

Album:     The Dreamer is the Dream

Label:     ECM

Release Date:     4/28/17


On his third ECM release, Christ Potter forays further into the creative well of himself and his sax, giving sway the imagistic and lyrical undertows of the Homer-inspired The Sirens (2012) and the expanded, classically voiced Imaginary Cities (2015) to the free-associative dream states found within The Dreamer is the Dream.

 Though switching reeds (tenor/soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, ilimba) as the music and his examination/imagination of it dictate, and exploring various musical meter and world forms may, for some, blur his music’s power and mission, I find Potter’s artful/creative restlessness and producer Manfred Eicher’s dramatic and delicate control of it, uplifting.

Potter’s dark, warm tone sets out mournfully, yet builds triumphantly on the solid opener “Heart in Hand.” Cuban born pianist David Virelles, quickly becoming a rising voice within the new jazz generation, is a natural foil/collaborator not only for the session leader but for drummer Marcus Gilmore, whose subtle and supple dynamism whispers and waltzes throughout the set. Not to be outdone, double bassist Joe Martin creates the overall palette that Potter is free to dream upon. The extended improv “Yasodhara” is a true standout, being that part of the dream that unravels quickly, in time, out of time, leaving the dreamer to cull for myth and meaning.

—Mike Jurkovic

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