With all of the attention that multi-instrumentalist Chris Potter began getting at the dawn of the 21st century in his homeland of the U.S., he had already been awarded the Jazzpar Prize in 2000, with part of the honor including this special concert recording made to feature his work. Accompanied by a quartet including pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Billy Drummond, this young man (not yet 30 at the time) displays tremendous chops on tenor sax and the skills of a seasoned composer and arranger with his opener, "This Will Be" (which is based on the chord changes to "My Shining Hour"). He switches to soprano sax for his even more adventurous "Okinawa." Potter is also heard on flute and bass clarinet elsewhere on the CD. His quartet expands to a septet with the addition of cornetist Kasper Tranberg, flutist and bass clarinetist Peter Fuglsang, and guitarist Jacob Fischer for his six-part "Jazzpar Suite." Following the richly textured introduction, which omits the rhythm section, Potter's extended work proves that he is well on his way to becoming one of the most influential jazz composers of his generation. "Part Four -- Tribute to Hodges & Ellington" captures the mood of the two jazz giants without resorting to directly copying their sound together. The encore is a tender yet somewhat dissonant (at times) interpretation of Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" by the quartet. This CD is well worth acquiring by post-bop fans.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden