CHRIS POTTER:: The saxophonist Chris Potter started drawing attention when he joined the group of legendary bebop trumpeter Red Rodney as an 18-year-old Manhattan School of Music student. A well respected sideman, he eventually earned critical recognition as a leader as well, and then made an even wider impression in the bands of heavycat bassist Dave Holland and subversive trumpet star Dave Douglas. Potter's basic language was familiar: a post-Coltrane gleaming sweep of arpeggiated lines, focused power, relentless intensity. But he also had an uncommon sense of the heart of a tune, and shaped every solo with a narrative arc that sustained moment-to-moment excitement.
Through a good chunk of the '00s, Potter led Underground, with Fender Rhodes (Craig Taborn), electric guitar, and drums. No bass. But the avant-funk these guys created was thrilling — an extension of the tricky, open forms of Filles de Kilimanjaro-era Miles Davis.
Now Potter has made his ECM debut with Sirens — Taborn this time on acoustic piano, plus David Virelles (who joins the quartet at the Regattbar) on prepared piano, celeste and harmonium; Larry Grenadier on bass; and Eric Harland on drums. Gone are the tight funk patterns of Underground, but in their place is an epic expansiveness. And no wonder; Potter says the album was inspired by Homer's Odyssey. Songs like "The Sirens" hint at Coltrane at his most "ancient," whereas "Kalypso" splits the difference between boppin' Ornette and Keith Jarrett. And the subject matter suits him. If anyone knows how to tell a deathless tale, it's Chris Potter. | March 14 :: Regattabar, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge :: 7:30 pm [$25] + 10 pm [$22] :: 617.395.7757 or regattabarjazz.com
AARDVARK:: The magnificent Boston jazz orchestra Aardvark, now in their 40th season, take on our fair city in leader Mark Harvey's Boston JazzScape, encompassing everything from the Great Fire of 1872 to Sacco & Vanzetti, Urban Renewal, and more. :: Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston :: March 8 :: 7:30 pm :: $25; $20 students :: 800.440.6975 or mfa.org.
CHARLES LLOYD:: We bug you season after season to go see Charles Lloyd, and there's no better season than now. At this point, every note the 75-year-old (as of March 15) saxophonist, flutist, and jazz mystic plays is pure expression. He's coming off a superb new album, Hagar's Song (ECM), a duo session with pianist Jason Moran. Moran and the rest of Lloyd's quartet — bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland — join him tonight at Sanders Theatre. :: March 21 :: 45 Quincy St, Cambridge :: 8 pm :: $40-$65 :: celebrityseries.org
CIMARRÓN:: The seven-piece Colombian ensemble Cimarrón make their Boston debut with their rollicking triple-meter dance music played on harp, bandola, cuatro, bass, cajón and maracas, with ripping vocals on top. :: April 6 :: Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Cambridge :: 7 pm :: $28 :: 617.876.4275 or worldmusic.org.