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Florian Stoffner, John Butcher, Chris Corsano.: Braids

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Florian Stoffner, John Butcher, Chris Corsano.: Braids
The trio of Swiss guitarist Florian Stoffer, British saxophonist John Butcher and US drummer Chris Corsano recorded their first album Braids live at Le Singe, in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, on May 22nd 2022. Stoffer had a previous release on ezz-thetics, Tetratne, a duo with drummer Paul Lovens, released in 2020. Between 1999 and 2009, Butcher was a member of the quartet Polwechsel, appearing on three of the group's albums on hatOLOGY or hat[now]ART; he was also a soloist on Christopher Fox's Topophony (hat[now]ART, 2018). Although he has a sizeable discography, Braids is Corsano's first release on ezz-thetics.

This album comprises seven tracks ranging in length from just over four minutes to nearly twelve minutes. The tracks are all credited to Stoffner, Butcher & Corsano, an indication that the tracks in question were freely improvised rather than previously composed. On the album Stoffer played guitar, Butcher played tenor and soprano saxophones, and Corsano played drums and half clarinet; while many of the sounds here are easily attributable to one of those instruments, there are others which are not so easy to pigeonhole.

The beauty of this trio is that they do not play separate solos. Mostly, all three are playing at once, their sounds intertwining and amalgamating into a cohesive whole for which all three are equally responsible. In the main, their playing is restrained and quiet enough for every sound from each player to be heard distinctly, not only by listeners but also by the three trio members themselves. Without employing loud noises, they manage to weave a rich sound tapestry together which can never be attributed to one of them but to all. When they do occasionally raise the group volume, as on "Gneis" or "Smaller Infinities" for instance, the upward spiral happens naturally with all three equally involved.

Altogether, Braids is a text-book example of trio improv at its best, one which stands up well to frequent and repeated listening. As the trio's debut album, it is an impressive achievement and leaves one hoping it will be the first of a series. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Soft Geometry; The Zoo Is Next Door; Little Secrets Taken To Our Graves; Gneis; Charlatans Selling Miracles; Smaller Infinities; Elegant Frost.

Personnel

Florian Stoffner
guitar, electric
John Butcher
saxophone
Additional Instrumentation

John Butcher: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Chris Corsano: drums, half clarinet.

Album information

Title: Braids | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Ezz-thetics


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