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JUNE 2019 ♦ VOLUME 49 ♦ NUMBER 5




CHRIS POTTER He’s a former child prodigy and current modern master—as his 21st album, Circuits, demonstrates—but he doesn’t make much of a fuss about any of that. Natalie Weiner catches up with a musician whose sense of understatement is nearly as vast as the list of besotted fans who’ve transcribed his solos.

In every issue

7 JT Notes 8 Opening Chorus

Herb Alpert talks philanthropy, Alexa Tarantino, Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord, farewells to Jeff Andrews and John Oddo 13 The Scene

Just Jazz at L.A.’s Mr Musichead Gallery 14 Chronology

Ethan Iverson on James Newton 16 Before & After

Dayna Stephens 20 Overdue Ovation

Marty Ehrlich


BRANFORD MARSALIS Want opinions? Branford’s got ’em, and in this Q&A with David Fricke, he lays out quite a few—on Kamasi Washington, jazz as entertainment, and the concept of “living the blues,” among others—while also discussing the excellent new release from his long-running quartet.

34 GARY BARTZ: BRIGHT MOMENTS You could call him an elder statesman, but you’d be equally correct to call him a forerunner of jazz’s newest wave. With the help of Evan Haga, Bartz revisits key entries in a catalog that stretches over more than 50 years.


SEAMUS BLAKE The cosmopolitan saxophonist has found a new home in Paris, with a group of European musicians he’s dubbed the French Connection. Blake tells J.D. Considine about the reasoning behind his move, his stance on electric instruments, and a Siberian bus ride with Benny Golson.

50 Audio Files

Brent Butterworth on luxury headphones 52 Chops

Scott Robinson’s special relationship with a ’24 Conn tenor sax 54 Gearhead

Mindi Abair goes wireless, plus new products from RS Berkeley, Vic Firth, Steinberg, and more 56 Album Reviews 64 Artist’s Choice

Lauren Sevian picks her favorite baritone saxophone solos on record

Cover image of Chris Potter by Dave Stapleton Table of Contents image by Eric Ryan Anderson


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