Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Butcher / Ståle Liavik Solberg: So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain

Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" reviewed by John Sharpe

British saxophonist John Butcher and Norwegian percussionist Ståle Liavik Solberg come together in a striking first meeting recorded live at north London's Cafe Oto in August 2015. Butcher brings to bear all the experience one would expect from one of the so-called second generation of English improvisers. Solberg, who co-curates Oslo's Blow Out! Festival each January, has worked extensively with other members of the same cohort such as pianist Steve Beresford and guitarist John Russell, so it's no surprise he ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, Matthew Shipp: Tangle

Read "Tangle" reviewed by John Eyles

Recorded at Café Oto in February 2014, on the first night of pianist Matthew Shipp's three-day residency at the venue, Tangle is the first recording of the trio of saxophonist John Butcher and synthesiser player Thomas Lehn with Shipp. (The YouTube clip, below, was filmed on the night in question.) Typically, there were previous links between the three, with evidence being available on past Fataka releases; Butcher and Lehn had first collaborated as far back as 1996 and, in June ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Catching up with John Butcher at 60

Read "Catching up with John Butcher at 60" reviewed by John Eyles

In November 2014, saxophonist John Butcher celebrated his sixtieth birthday over two evenings at Cafe Oto, London, in the company of musicians including Gino Robair, Tony Buck, Magda Mayas, dieb13, Olie Brice, Guillaume Viltard, Adam Bohman and Ute Kanngiesser, with Butcher playing both solo and in various small groupings. At those gigs, he demonstrated all the attributes that have made him one of the most adventurous and intriguing saxophonists of the past few decades and showed that the arrival of ...


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