Chris Potter - Rotterdam 4/1/06: This is a concert of Chris Potter's "Underground" band live from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Backing him are Adam Rogers on guitar, Craig Taborn on keyboards and Nate Smith on drums. While Smith holds down the traditional duties of a post-bop drummer, Taborn and Rogers produce an ever shifting electronic soundscape for the saxophonist to improvise over. He does this brilliantly, weaving great billowing swathes of sound that duck and weave though the music in lengthy improvisations that in some cases double the length of the studio versions. The final tune may well be the highlight, Potter lays out for a great length of time allowing the band to play like a power trio of the gods. Rogers in particular plays with a rockin' intensity only hinted at in his recent Criss-Cross releases. When Potter does re-enter the fray it is with renewed strength and energy for a fluid and intense solo. If he's going to keep leading bands like this on stage and disc, there's a lot of great music to look forward to.
Ray Davies - Toronto 3/30/06: After releasing his stellar solo album Other People's Lives, it's only natural that Ray would take his act on the road - this time with a crack band playing versions of songs from the new album and classics by The Kinks. The band rocks out really hard on "The Tourist" with abundant guitar solos and very strong vocals from the great man. If you've heard the Kinks live album On the Road then you know that Ray enjoys a good singalong, and the crowd here really knows their stuff, signing with gusto on "Set Me Free" and of course "Lola." Ray Davies really seems revitalized by the success and warm reaction he's been receiving from fans and critics and it translates here into an excellent concert.
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Butcher, Lehn, Shipp / The Core Trio
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