Loving Pottersaurus is something everyone loves to do…unless you’ve proudly evolved into hating Pottersaurus. The less imaginative of us are starting to sound like Pottersaurus and there are probably classes at Berklee now on how to sound like Pottersaurus. But yes, what’s not to love?
Pottersaurus has truly inspired us and expanded our idea of what the saxophone can do (even if we can’t). And those people truly make life on this planet richer. All I ask is that amid the Potter love/hate-fest, we remain open to those out there who are amazing us with non-Potteresque music. Yes, “amaze” is not too strong a word because we aren’t looking for music that sounds good, we are looking to be blown away, made to look at everything differently.
Rich Perry amazes and does so in a way that is uniquely Rich Perry. I first heard him when he pulled out his axe and blew a few notes to warm up before a trust fund gig we did at City Hall in NY. Just a few notes and it was like the sun had come out after a long winter. Andy Fusco looked at me and shook his head, saying “you haven’t heard this guy before?”
Less famous of the not yet famous, and undeservedly so is Tim Armacost. I’ve known Tim for 30 years and I have never heard him play when he hasn’t amazed me one or more times. I will listen to something Tim plays and want to know what he did an how he did it. Tim is one of those guys that would never talk about using a scale or tonality, he’d talk about a “vibe” or an “energy”. Tim is out touring with the New York Standards Quartet behind their new album “Unstandard,” with Dave Berkman, Gene Jackson and Yosuke Inoue. Please check it out to make it more likely that we will be able to hear more of these fine cats
(confession #1: I promised to post this many weeks ago after sending you flame mail in a lame effort to support this worthy blog)
Firstly, not only do I not agree with your innuendo – yes, you cleverly veil it, but it is obvious. I mean, how do you compare Potter to a stuffed animal without making a statement? And you basically call those of us who admire him a bunch of sycophants. Regardless of whether I agree, which I don’t – (digression: most of us would like to have a fraction of the Saurus’ technical mastery and abundance of incandescent ideas. On top of all THAT, he is moving the music forward, which can’t be said about everyone plying our craft) – I’m not sure of the tactical wisdom of calling out a fellow musician.
B, It’s all fine and good to laud Tim and Rick (confession #2: T Armacost is also a good friend of many years who has lent his gifts to several of my recording projects), but it is another thing to take exception with fame (“fame” of course a relative thing. See other blog post from The Dino about jazz market size). Your conceit of comparing extra-worthy-unknowns to a worthy-known doesn’t work. Pick on Kenny G or Chris Botti or some young up-and-comer-not-yet-worthy-of-all-the-attention like Ambrose A (http://www.ambroseakinmusire.com/). At least here the undertow will be with you. It’s a darn small pie. Instead of grubbing over the crumbs, why not make the pie bigger?
Dear brother jazz musicaian, thank you for your input. As you may note, I have not yet perfected, nor even reached a C- grade with my blogardly writings. Some have counseled me to give up completely and keep a professional website for my musical activities. For now I will continue to hack away and try to find my way in the world before it is time for me to leave it.