Sunrise Reprise, Chris Potter
Chris Potter is regarded as one of the most in.uential and inventive improvisors of the modern era, and to say that he has used the last 12 months effectively, is a massive understatement. After his touring schedule was decimated by the pandemic, he was able to turn his extensive calendar of gigs into a period of re.ection and writing. Since becoming a professional, he’s never had so much dedicated time to put pen to paper, to re.ect and write. In a matter of weeks he composed, recorded and produced ‘There is a Tide’, a multi-tracked, multi-instrumental album recorded at home with a laptop and two microphones. Then, in Sept 2020, a small window emerged from the restrictions, and Chris saw an opportunity to record ‘Sunrise Reprise’ with his Circuits trio consisting of keyboardist James Francies and drummer Eric Harland.
It was the .rst time anyone in the group had recorded in a studio, and for proli.c musicians such as these, it resulted in an outpouring of collective energy, creativity, and spirit, closely reminiscent of some of the late John Coltrane albums (such as ‘Meditations’ or ‘Expressions’). The session was a release from the build up of tension over the previous months and lock-down, as Chris explains; “all of a sudden we’re in the studio. It felt such a release, a sense of freedom to create and to express ourselves collectively. It’s this, that has been the central part of this album it’s about the trio, our shared energy, re.ecting our own thoughts and feelings from all that’s going on in the world”.
‘Sunrise Reprise’ builds on Chris’ return to groove in the 2019 album ‘Circuits’ (2019). Representing new beginnings and new discoveries, the album signi.es a deepening connection between three of the most talented and proli.c musicians trying to make sense of the world and their place in it. This recording is their artistic statement.
It’s important to note that for Chris, the music on ‘Sunrise Reprise’ came after a period of deep re.ection, witnessing The Black Lives Matter Protests and the Climate Crisis which were all being brought into sharp focus because of the Pandemic. In light of these two catalysts, writing ‘Sunrise Reprise’ and ‘There is a Tide’ took on a new spiritual meaning for Chris, as is evident in the meditative expanses and ethereal effects of ‘Sunrise and Joshua Trees’ -the music is itself a space for contemplation.
There’s no doubt that Chris Potter is part of the lifeforce of jazz and improvised music in the world today -a vital player whose talents as a composer and multi-instrumentalist are clearly on display here. Listen to the 24-minute long ‘Nowhere, Now Here/Sunrise Reprise’, and hear how Chris keeps spinning out a cascade of musical ideas, underpinned by Francies’ and Harland’s explosive energies. The exploratory nature of this record not only demonstrates Chris’ prowess, but also opens the door for audiences to hear what it’s like to be in the room when Chris plays live. Interplay and the collective spirit of the Circuits Trio is on show, and the environment of the studio doesn’t inhibit this in any way.
The session was a huge release from the build-up of tension over the previous months, as Chris explains; “All of a sudden we’re in the studio. It felt such a release, a sense of freedom to create and to express ourselves collectively. It’s this, that has been the central part of this album – it’s about the trio, our shared energy, reflecting our own thoughts and feelings from all that’s going on in the world. Eric, James, and I really needed to PLAY, to try to put into music all the intense feelings of the previous few months. The close bond we had developed playing this music together on the road led to what we felt as a cathartic musical experience in the studio, documented in one very special evening”. Chris Potter
‘Sunrise Reprise’ is an album which epitomises Chris’ impact on the world stage. The combination of world-class virtuosity and musicianship, alongside the joy and freedom evident throughout this record is testament to Potter’s status as a consummate artist. As he continues going from strength to strength, experienced Potter fans and new listeners alike will be able to listen to this over and over, in the anticipation of a brighter future and a more empathetic world.
New Music. New Thinking.
Music composed by Chris Potter -Chris Potter Music (BMI)
Copyright Chris Potter 2021
Produced by Chris Potter Executive producers Dave Stapleton and Louise Holland
Recorded by Josh Giunta at GSI Studios 19th September 2020 Mixed by Christopher Allen at Sear Sound 28th & 29th September 2020 Mastered by Huntley Miller at HM Mastering
Artwork design by Oli Bentley, Split Photos by Dave Stapleton Vision Arts Management
– The first 200 LPs will be numbered
– All LP copies will be coloured