The Dreamer is the Dream is woodwind/horn virtuoso Chris Potter's third release as a leader for ECM Records, and the album also features the cast of pianist David Virelles, double bassist Joe Martin, and Marcus Gilmore on drums. This new acoustic quartet have crafted six tracks of sultry, atmospheric modern jazz, long on soaring melodies and intriguing solo flights. Potter of course is front and center throughout, whether it be on tenor or soprano sax, bass clarinet, flute, or ilimba, and he's in fine form on the dramatic opener "Heart in Hand", his sax lines exploding with majestic power over steady rhythms and Virelles' gorgeous piano melodies. Gilmore tosses in a blazing drum solo on the upbeat "Ilimba", and the somber title cut also features an extended exploration from Martin, his leather lead double bass cutting through light yet complex cymbal flourishes from his rhythmic counterpart. Most of the tracks are quite lengthy, which allows for not only a bit of improvisation but also plenty of time to weave impressive melodies as well as explore different moods and textures.
Potter has assembled a fine cast here to help carry out his vision, and though he's clearly the leader, even when he's fat the forefront, as on "Yosadhara", the rest of the band contribute mightily, making for a cohesive, fun, and engaging album.
1) Heart in Hand
3) The Dreamer Is the Dream
4) Memory and Desire
6) Sonic Anamoly