Chris Potter: Facing East


Facing East


Chris Potter (tenor sax, bass clarinet)


Ultrahang (Artistshare 167281226-2)

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Chris Potter (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Craig Taborn (electric piano), Adam Rogers (guitar), Nate Smith (drums).

Composed by Chris Potter


Recorded: New York, NY


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

“Facing East” is a jam-based song that runs through several phases, probing for that rare groove…rare in that it distinctly lacks rote-ness. Taborn’s electric piano lays down a soft bed over which Potter blurts out some opening sequences of exploratory phrases, before the group finally settles into an established rhythm. It’s here where one might first notice that Taborn is handling the bass duties on his Rhodes, a warm and unobtrusive undertow.

Exploiting the six chord sequence that emerged, Rogers takes charge with stinging, blues-rock guitar soloing. After Rogers roughs up all the smooth edges, Potter re-enters with bass clarinet in hand, playing skronky high notes in a manner that I’ve never heard the instrument being played before. Smith moves on to a funkier pulse and in a matter of seconds, Potter has switched back to tenor, playing it in a more groove-conscious manner than he did with that other horn. The proceedings eventually wind down to the same exploratory milieu as the beginning, like a plane that makes a landing to the same airport it took off from. Only these musicians flew by feel not sight, and still managed to make their destination in one piece. The ride is more fun this way.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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