June 2009 – blogUT


What: Chris Potter’s Underground
: Tuesday, June 30th at 9PM (Today!) (Monday’s show reviewed below)
The Pilot at 22 Cumberland between Bay and Yonge (Map)
Tickets: $28 at the door – arrive early as seating is limited and first come first serve. Doors open at 8PM. Dinner is available at the Pilot.

(See end of Review for more Chris Potter listings for this week on Tuesday and Friday)

Starting at 9PM and finishing up at around midnight, Chris Potter’s Underground wowed the audience from start to finish at the intimate Pilot setting this evening, with two great sets of serious head-bopping, jiving music, that held your attention throughout, accessible to the jazz neophyte and a real delight for the jazz fan. The band played both original music off Potter’s albums and interpretations of other musicians’ work.

Chris Potter is a musician’s musician – about half the audience was music students from York, Humber, and UofT – he takes any piece and turns it on its head in so many different ways that make you listen and watch in anticipation, constantly engaged. His albums are good, but his performance here was stellar. I spent the whole concert bopping my head, swinging my shoulders, tapping my foot, tapping my hands, and at the apex moments, finding myself doing all of the above at once without thinking about it. It was a heck of a lot of fun and a heck of a good show.

Chris Potter’s Underground – with Adam Rogers on guitar, Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes, Nate Smith on drums, and Potter on alto sax, soprano sax, and bass clarinet -played original tunes like the title song from “Underground” and Potter’s new album “Ultrahang”, new never-before played compositions like “Flight to Oslo”, old standards like Duke Ellington’s “Single Petal of a Rose”, and unexpected oldies with seriously imaginative turns like their melodic, swingy ballad of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe”.

What made the show great was not just the quality of the playing or the selection of the music, but the tightness of the band, the seamless transitions, and the incredible variations on the melody. While most jazz concerts follow the same old pattern of melody, sax solo, guitar solo, drum solo, keyboard solo, back to melody, and then new song and repeat, Underground has a new and exciting way of approaching performance, which is strong and engaging. However, it does get a little repetitive in nature by the nth song. Continue reading “Chris Potter’s Underground put on a must-see jazz show at the Pilot on Tuesday June 30th (Review of Monday’s show): TO jazz festival 2009”

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