Joel Spencer: The Brighter Side (Feat. Chris Potter)

Joel Spencer: The Brighter Side (Feat. Chris Potter)
Title: The Brighter Side (Feat. Chris Potter)
Label: CD Baby

'The Brighter Side' Chris Potter - Saxophones Garry Dial - Piano Kelly Sill - Bass Joel Spencer - Drums Interestingly, The Brighter Side features sidemen who are better known than the leaders. This 1993 post-bop date was led by drummer Joel Spencer and acoustic bassist Kelly Sill, neither of whom was well known nationally at the time. However, these 'young lions' had kept busy playing the Chicago jazz scene; in fact, they were regularly hired by late trumpeter Red Rodney for Midwestern gigs in the '80s and early '90s. The better-known players on The Brighter Side are pianist Garry Dial and saxman Chris Potter, both of whom were also Rodney sidemen and had been part of his East Coast team. One of the more interesting and impressive young lions to emerge in the '90s, Potter is in good-to-excellent form on this album. The saxophonist (who is featured on tenor, soprano, and alto) isn't innovative, but his expressive playing on pieces by Dial, Sill, and himself points to the fact that he is nonetheless a recognizable and risk-taking soloist. Recorded only two days after these improvisers had backed Rodney during a six-night gig at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase (arguably the Village Vanguard of Chicago), The Brighter Side is recommended to post-bop enthusiasts. Drummer Joel Spencer and bassist Kelly Sill captured the Chicago jazz audience in the '70s through their work with John Campbell and Ed Petersen. Since then they have become one of the Chicago rhythm sections of choice among visiting stars-they have played with nearly everyone in the business! This session features their playing with saxophonist Chris Potter and pianist Garry Dial on wonderful original compositions by Potter, Dial and Sill. Overall this quartet's playing exemplifies the current state-of-the art of modern jazz. Few groups ever achieve the great balance of intellect, chops, and taste that abound on this recording. There is bit of an update of the Coltrane quartet-especially when Potter plays soprano, great interplay between Sill and Spencer, and most of all, daring in everyone's playing. Each tune is a gem. Kelly Sill's 'Naomi' and 'Ironic Line' are worth the price of admission alone. Pianist Dial contributes half of the repertoire and plays great throughout. Potter and Spencer are two of the best in the business. It takes great courage to record an album of originals and make a solid attempt to add to the art form, but isn't this the most important part of creating jazz or any art?-MV.

1.1 Fear of Flying
1.2 Rosebud
1.3 The Greater Fool
1.4 Additional Dialogue
1.5 Naomi
1.6 The Brighter Side
1.7 Ironic Line
1.8 Charlie's Tonic

Joel Spencer: The Brighter Side (Feat. Chris Potter)

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