I wouldnt normally take the time to write anything, but I noticed a few things in other reviews (particularly in "book and music lovers" review) that i feel need to be answered. I wonder if "book and music lover" actually listened to this albulm at all. "Mr. Potter has taken a simple bit of instrumental music and labeled it jazz" he says. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Surely, he had to be listening to a different albulm, else he would have heard the amazing tenor of Potter himself (which as a saxophonist myself i appreciate all the more), which although distinctive is certainly on the lines of Coltrane. He would have heard the rythm section: solid when in the background, progresssive in their own solos. He would have heard what is possibly the most brilliant take of the Mingus classic "boogie stop shuffle" (which is amazing all the more because it is in 13/4 time and subdivided in an oscillating time signature (if your not a musician, take my word that its complex and amazing)). I fail to see how this is "simple instrumental music at all.
He then says "Sorry, but good Jazz is loaded with improvisations, and written music is but an out line". This line is particularly aggravating. How does he not realize that except for the heads of the tunes, all of the albulm is improvised. More than hour of improvised music, none of which he managed to hear.
What angers me the most however is what he says last. "Take note Smooth Jazz. You are just a tiny bit above elevator music." Now, normally, i woould agree, i cant stand smooth jazz. But (please note this) THIS IS NOT SMOOTH JAZZ! i do not understand how this albulm could possibly be misconstrued as smooth jazz. I think that just his assertion that it is smooth jazz suggests that "book and music lover" clearly has no idea what hes talking about.
This is more closely a fine work of hard bop, perhaps best in line with the later live Coltrane work (think, say, 1964). It is of course very distinctive, but it is easy to hear the strains of coltrane in Potter's solos. The pianist (Kevin Hays) reminds me particularly, when he's playing piano proper and not the synth, of McCoy Tyner, one of the other central pillars of the Classic Coltrane quartet. I can similar things about the bassist and drummer (Scott Colley and Bill stewart, respectively) but im sure you understand my point by now.
"Lift" is a solid piece of modern Jazz, particularly since so many so called jazz musicians have turned to lesser things. For any true jazz fan, this is a must have. Chris Potter himself is certainly one of, if not right next to Coltrane, one of the best tenor players of now, or any time, and there is no better way to showcase his talent then in this brilliant live performance.