It was a surprise to see Chris Potter Underground on Saturday night; with their reputation as one of the bands most likely to get twenty-somethings into jazz (as stated by the Village Voice early this year) it seemed they would have likely been slotted in to Friday's "New Grooves" night.
Watching them on the Garden Stage on Saturday was in no way a disappointment, however, and despite some heavyweight competition (Dianne Reeves, anyone?) they managed to draw a solid and enthusiastic crowd. Sharp-eyed jazz fans even spotted jazz pianist Billy Childs standing in the back for a large portion of the set, fully engaged in the performance.
Chris Potter Underground played funky, fast, rock-influenced jazz with a fat bottom and a rump-shaking groove. Amazingly, the dense basslines weren't laid down by a bass player, but instead all came out of Craig Taborn's Fender Rhodes piano. An unnamed audience member called Taborn "the most underrated keyboardist in jazz." One thing's clear: he won't be underrated by anyone that caught Saturday night's performance.
For more information on the Monterey Jazz Festival, see our Monterey Jazz Festival page. For coverage of the 2010 Monterey Jazz Festival, see all our Monterey Jazz Festival posts. For more photos from this and other performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, see our 2010 Monterey Jazz Festival set on Flickr.