4

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

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
John Butcher / Ståle Liavik Solberg: So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
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 is so well attuned to the reedman.

The pair exchanges a range of unconventional timbres which teeter deliciously on the cusp between music and noise. Although both Solberg and Butcher operate within a relatively narrow spectrum, they find no shortage of options to further their sensitive dialogue. Solberg alternates percussive attacks with more prolonged pitches, which by turns contrast and complement Butcher's saxophonic extremes. The reedman rarely plays a pure note, but instead shows exquisite control in extracting and stabilising fleeting fugitive tones between, or on top of, the notes.

A high degree of responsiveness is evident from the outset. "So Beautiful" begins at a processional, almost ritual, rate with Solberg's sombre tolling, while Butcher holds astoundingly precise reverberating split tones on the edge of disintegration. After a pause Butcher continues alone, his sustained multiphonics evoking chords, before Solberg joins scraping on his cymbals and drums. While Solberg never even reaches the outer bounds of settled rhythm, he nonetheless imparts a halting momentum. And on occasion it's shared. A notable passage on "To Rain" finds Butcher's reiterated saxophone yaps keeping pace with Solberg's galloping drum accents.

If not for the occasional cough, you wouldn't know it was a live performance. Happily the clear sound allows full appreciation of the subtle modulations and shifts central to both men's expression.

Track Listing

So Beautiful; It Starts; To Rain.

Personnel

John Butcher: soprano and tenor saxophones; Ståle Liavik Solberg: drums and percussion.

Album information

Title: So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Source
Source
Nubya Garcia
Read End Of Summer
End Of Summer
Espen Eriksen Trio
Read Facing Duality
Facing Duality
Maria Baptist and Jan von Klewitz
Read Stateless
Stateless
Tashi Dorji
Read I'm All Yours
I'm All Yours
Beth Duncan
Read Drumology
Drumology
Rob Silverman
Read La Loba
La Loba
Fini Bearman

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.