Chris Potter

The Jazz Mentality: Show Business Is My Life

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Although the name of this group might lead one to think that it is a protest against the possible restrictiveness of "the jazz mentality," the brief liner notes make it clear that these four musicians are proud to be jazz artists. Chris Potter, a young giant, is by far the best-known player in this group, and he displays fairly original post-bop sounds on tenor, alto and soprano, but the rhythm section (pianist Steve Elmer, bassist Ralph Hamperian and drummer Myles Weinstein) is strong too.

The music is advanced and fairly straight-ahead modern jazz. Among the highlights of the live set are "Show Business Is My Life" (a medium-tempo strut with a solid theme), "Quiet Moments" (one of six Steve Elmer originals), Bobby Timmons' funky jazz waltz "This Here" (listed as "Dis' Here"), which has a swinging Potter alto solo, Elmer's trio feature on "Solar," and numbers on which Potter emulates (at least part of the time) Dexter Gordon and Jackie McLean. Although not essential, this colorful set (which displays the continual growth of Chris Potter) has enough strong moments to make it easily recommended to collectors of the idiom.