Chris Potter, Underground

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Alternating between lyric, moody set pieces and knotty fusion breaks, Underground, by noted jazz saxophonist Chris Potter, is a work of impressive scope and reach. Recorded with his touring band of 2005, Underground (recorded sans bass player) is largely limber and relaxed. Most interesting are their obtuse cover versions, which include a languid, snakelike version of Radiohead's "Morning Bell" and a somber, funereal take on "Yesterday". The originals are also stellar — "Celestial Nomad" centers on a long, searching sax melody, featuring just as much blank space as sound. "The Wheel" percolates steadily, with quick ricochets of percussion and bass. Underground is a remarkable snapshot of one of jazz's leading lights.