No doubt, tenor saxophonist Chris Potter’s prominence in modern jazz circles has been on the upswing, partly due to his work with bass hero Dave Holland, and all-world trumpeter Dave Douglas. Yet, Potter’s steady solo career has paralleled his stature as an in-demand session ace. And what the saxophonist often brings to the table is rooted within his superior improvising skills, coupled with a hybrid, mainstream/modern approach to jazz. Here, the artist leads his new (bass-less) quartet, sporting a jazz-fusion edge.
Keyboardist Craig Taborn serves a dual role on this effort, via his use of the Fender Rhodes electric piano, often firming down the lower-registers along with swirling chord clusters. But Potter, Taborn and electric guitarist Wayne Krantz also indulge in knotty unison lines to round out a hard-nosed and undeniably, upfront attack. Awash with gritty sax lines to counterbalance a series of catchy riffs and hooks, Potter’s muse incorporates climactic opuses amid sonorously constructed melodies. Needless to state, the band generates excitement where endearing melodies enjoy a happy coexistence with a rough-hewn edge. They nip it in the bud rather gracefully, as the soloists engage blistering improvisation with groove-based themes especially on "Underground," where Krantz injects fiery, distortion-drenched licks. Potter consummates matters with dreamy lines during the band’s take on The Beatles time-honored ballad, "Yesterdays." (Earnestly recommended.... )