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Jazz Articles about John Butcher

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Multiple Reviews

The John Butcher Vinyl Series

Read "The John Butcher Vinyl Series" reviewed by John Sharpe


British saxophonist John Butcher has originated an astounding array of saxophone techniques which he combines in a personal syntax which is instantly recognizable, particularly involving the production of a broad range of multiphonics which vary from juddering growl to chirruping stridulation, but which defies easy description. Novel sounds in themselves of course would only be of passing interest were the way in which he orchestrates on-the-fly, either alone or in consort with others, not so compelling. As a ...

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Multiple Reviews

Two trios and a quartet from John Butcher

Read "Two trios and a quartet from John Butcher" reviewed by John Eyles


Saxophonist John Butcher's impressively large discography features many trio recordings; in fact, trios come a close second to the many duo albums he has recorded. Plenty of Butcher's trio recordings are with groupings that are long-standing, some having acquired names out of necessity, such as The Contest of Pleasures (with Xavier Charles and Axel Dörner) or Common Objects (with Rhodri Davies and Lee Patterson) ), while others have not, such as that with John Edwards and Mark Sanders, or with ...

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Multiple Reviews

From John Butcher’s Collection

Read "From John Butcher’s Collection" reviewed by John Eyles


An old saying tells us it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. In the case of Covid-19 and its repercussions, many people would have to wrack their brains to think of any good that ill wind had blown to anyone. Musically, though, there is an increasing number of impressive album releases that were conceived and recorded during lockdown (even if they cannot be promoted by live events.) In addition, quite a few musicians have been revisiting and ...

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Album Review

Minton - Butcher - Robair: Blasphemious Fragments

Read "Blasphemious Fragments" reviewed by John Eyles


Studio-recorded in London in July 2017, Blasphemious Fragments brings together an appealing improvising trio comprising vocalist Phil Minton, saxophonist John Butcher and percussionist Gino Robair. For Butcher, the trio reacquaints him with players he has known for decades; he and Minton recorded Two Concerts (FMP) together as far back as 1995, in a trio with German jazz guitarist Erhard Hirt; the two were half of the Phil Minton Quartet that recorded Mouthfull of Ecstasy (Les Disques Victo, 1996), inspired by ...

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Album Review

Thomas/Butcher/Solberg: Fictional Souvenirs

Read "Fictional Souvenirs" reviewed by John Sharpe


Free improvisers favor ephemeral lineups more than most musicians. They keep things fresh and present new challenges. But most improvisers are also fond of particular groupings or connections. That's definitely the case with the British pairing of saxophonist John Butcher, keyboardist and electronicist Pat Thomas and Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg. They have worked together in various constellations, such that Fictional Souvenirs might be seen as a follow up of sorts to His Flights At Ten (Iluso, 2018) by a ...

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Building a Jazz Library

John Butcher

Read "John Butcher" reviewed by John Eyles


In the Building a Jazz Library article on Evan Parker, it says that seasoned Parker followers would describe him as the finest improvising saxophonist of his generation. Curiously, many of those same people would use exactly that phrase about John Butcher. The simple explanation for this apparent contradiction is that we are talking about two generations; Parker (born 1944) is a member of the “first generation of free improvisation" (along with Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, John Stevens, Paul Rutherford, Barry ...

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Album Review

Stray: Into Darkness

Read "Into Darkness" reviewed by John Sharpe


Two old masters and two younger pretenders unite to produce Into Darkness. Saxophonist John Butcher and guitarist John Russell were both part of the so-called second generation of improvisers, following in the wake of progenitors such as Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and John Stevens. Joining them in a continuous 51-minute live performance from London's Iklektic in December 2015 are bassist Dominic Lash and Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg. In coming together under the moniker Stray, they decisively upend some stereotypical ...


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