It's hard to believe, considering the phenomenal level of talent Outpost Productions brings to Albuquerque—99.9 percent of the top jazz talent in the world—that the organization only conducts one fundraising event each year. It's truly one of those rare cases of getting way more than you pay for.
This year's headliner, though not yet a household name, is well on his way to graduating from Young Liondom into the elite class of saxophonists occupied by Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and others synonymous with jazz music's sexiest brass instrument. As evidenced on his latest recording, Lift: Live at the Village Vanguard (Universal), Potter has established himself as one of the most important creative voices in the jazz world. Having cut his teeth as a sideman with Red Rodney, the Mingus Big Band and other notables, Potter has become increasingly more comfortable and powerful as a leader. Better than half the compositions on Lift are of Potter's own creation, but there's a seamless quality between his original works and tunes by Bill Stewart, Ned Washington and Mingus that speaks volumes to the 33-year-old's stature among his peers.
Never one to stay in one place for any extended length of time, don't expect to get a handle on what Potter might hit the Outpost stage with simply by purchasing his latest record. Buy the record, though, for your own listening pleasure and as preparation for experiencing what promises to be the future of jazz saxophone.
The Chris Potter Quartet will perform Sunday and Monday, Aug. 8 and 9, at 7:30 at the Outpost Performance Space. Tickets are $20, available in advance at the Book Stop (268-8898). Regular member discount of $5 is available for the Saturday show only. Call 268-0044 for more information.