Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chris Potter at Humber

The "amazing" Chris Potter as Denny Christianson referred to him last night.

It was a packed house at Humber for the showcase concert of this years' visiting guest artist.

Hosted by none other than Pat LaBarbera - no slouch on sax himself - it was a high energy evening...

The first half featured the "Bruce Cassidy Jazz Orchestra" under the direction of...Bruce Cassidy. The selections were all Mr. Potter's compositions - my favourite being "All by A" a lovely reflective piece he said he wrote when he was 14...hey, if it ain't broke...Arrangments were more orchestral with the additions of cello and violins.

Part 2 - The Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble conducted by Denny Christianson. There were a few past and future "Jazzology" guests in this ensemble. More of Chris' compositions and a couple of Dave Holland's (whom he has worked with, of course) ...a lively version of Monk's "Friday the Thirteenth"...timely, as Denny pointed out...and the wonderfully titled "Dance you Monster to my Soft Song" by Maria Schneider (who is guest artist at U of T shortly....)

Featured soloists included a tasty Eli Bennett - who shows more and more panache every time out (on tenor), Jon Challoner's beautiful trumpet forays, Jake Koffman on alto and Santino De Villa, laying out the rhythm on drums.

Chantal Emand delivered a lovely laid back "Comes Love" arr. by John McLeod. I loved her relaxed take and hope to see more of her soon.

Needless to say the crowd ate it up and demanded an encore. Mr Potter obliged with some more Monk..."Straight, No Chaser".

Of Note: Andrew Bown, guitarist from York U is tonight's "Jazzology" guest. I may be going over the Tequila Bookworm to catch Eli Bennett again tonight. Tomorrow - Julie McGregor/Norm Amadio at Commensal - where I don't have to worry about what to eat...it's veg!

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