[Chris Potter: Generations]

Chris Potter © Dave Stapleton

Chris Potter saxophone

Craig Taborn piano

Scott Colley double bass

Eric Harland drums

Benjamin Haemhouts conductor

Chris Potter is a phenomenon on the sax. Whether he is pulling solo angular melody lines out of his sleeve or creating soft harmonies with his ensembles, it is always an impressive performance. At the request of the leading San Francisco Jazz Festival – where Potter since last year has been artistic director-in-residence – he wrote a new work Generations. “A meditation on the links between people through time, and on the relationships between events in the past, present and future,” this is how the saxophonist describes his creation.

He seeks the boundary between notation and improvisation. How can you still maintain that oh-so-typical freedom in a score? The answer is a kaleidoscopic result. For Generations, he uses improvisation sketches as source material that he orchestrates further. He integrates the orchestra and jazz group in a fluid way so that “different soloists and subgroups at various times take the lead.” He does not make the notes overly compelling which leaves room in the score for the moment.

We are only too proud to be part of this. Because after a world première in the US, Potter is touring Europe with Generations. On the initiative of Bozar, he’s stopping in Bozar, Ghent and Rotterdam. To do that, he calls on our orchestra. Needless to say, we are honoured to share the stage with this living legend. Either way, it will be an intriguing project that allows us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone and showcase the versatility of our artists across national borders.

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