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Chris Potter: Life After Being Overrated

Twenty-one albums into his career, the saxophonist has evolved from a child prodigy into a legend-to-be hiding in plain sight

Chris Potter (photo: Dave Stapleton)

It’s like asking, ‘Do you ever get tired of living?’ You do, but it’s always temporary.”

Chris Potter is laughing as he tries to explain how, 30 years after he arrived in New York as one of jazz music’s most heralded prodigies, he’s still motivated to write, record, and perform. For the acclaimed saxophonist, now 48, the reason is so fundamental that it almost sounds hyperbolic and a little dark—to say that playing is like breathing might seem like a line consciously designed to project seriousness, and Potter recognizes that as he says it. But for him, it’s also true.

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Originally Published

Natalie Weiner

Natalie Weiner writes about music for a variety of publications including JazzTimes, Billboard, The New York Times, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. She is also a staff writer at SB Nation where she covers women’s sports and the NFL. Previously, she was a staff writer at Bleacher Report, and an associate editor at Billboard magazine.