Saxophone Stalwart Chris Potter Talks 'Aziza,' and His Own Imperfections, on The Checkout

Apr 23, 2018

Jazz super bands don’t come together all that often — so when an ensemble like Aziza forms, take notice. Chris Potter, who joins us here on The Checkout, was the one who first brought together the formidable talents of bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, and drummer Eric Harland.


Each musician in Aziza contributes equally, bringing his own originals to the bandstand. In Potter’s case, we hear his bubbly, calypso-influenced song "Summer 15," a tune the group will surely be exploring at its next performance on May 11, at the Soleil St. Lucia Summer Festival in the Caribbean.

Beyond Aziza, we survey Potter’s 20-year history of playing with Holland, and what makes their relationship so special. The saxophonist, who is often perceived as a near-flawless musician, reveals how he’s evolved over those years, and even addresses some of his shortcomings, including a little known fact about himself; he talks about a hearing disability that almost derailed his professional career.

Full playlist
"Blue Sufi," Aziza, Aziza (2016)
"High Wire," The Dave Holland Quintet, Prime Directive (1998)
"Illimba," Chris Potter Quartet, The Dreamer is the Dream (2017)
"Aziza Dance," Aziza, Aziza
"Sea of Marmara," The Dave Holland Octet, Pathways (2010)
"Vicissitudes," Dave Holand Quintet, Critical Mass (2006)
"Summer of 15," Aziza, Aziza (2016)

Subscribe to The Checkout podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.