All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

243

Butcher / Muller / van der Schyff: Way Out Northwest

By

Sign in to view read count
British saxophonist John Butcher is a longtime practitioner of spontaneous performances, game for playing with unfamiliar musicians in concert. For the 2007 Vancouver Jazz Festival, he took the stage with local musicians that shared his sensibilities: adventurous bassist Torsten Muller and increasingly ubiquitous drummer Dylan van der Schyff. Way Out Northwest documents the trio's initial outing, a nearly 50-minute performance of six improvisational exercises.

Butcher and van der Schyff had previously played as a duo at the festival and other concerts and the drummer and Muller have also worked together. Their intertwined histories provide a sense of familiarity, bolstering their confidence as the music develops chancier ideas. Tentative probes of sputtering sax and warbling bowed bass open as the trio settles in, soon unfurling in sweeping dynamic arcs that build intensity then recede to nuance. The improvisers all take turns prodding the music, the others uncannily responding in an instant.

Alternating between and using the full ranges of tenor and soprano, Butcher extends the trio's sonic potential. He also judiciously uses multiphonics, creating the illusion of two horns, as in the ghostly introduction of "Magic Clock Machine." Muller wields his bow to tease the upper register and often blends with the horn's piercing notes. He avoids obvious lines, preferring to color abstractly and shape the proceedings with thick notes and percussive flourishes that sound like prepared piano. Likewise, van der Schyff eschews beats, using the full kit to shade with rumbling toms, scraping cymbal edges or clattering sticks across the rims. The kinetic burst of "Gone, Goner" finds the trio playing more tightly, an effective epilogue hinting at another path.

What might have been a one-off became an auspicious beginning for the trio: building on their affinity for each other's playing, they have performed a handful of dates since.

Track Listing: haufig eine hydraulische Metaphertendenz; Magic Clock Machine; Sibila e Succhia; Sharpening the Windings until they roll up, roll up and snag on the point of the Tear; Taktgebertendenz; Gone, Goner.

Personnel: John Butcher: tenor and soprano saxophone; Torsten Muller: contrabass; Dylan van der Schyff: drums.

Title: Way Out Northwest | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Drip Audio

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Catching Up With
Read more articles
Into Darkness

Into Darkness

Iluso Records
2018

buy
So Beautiful, It Starts to Rain

So Beautiful, It...

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Last Dream at the Morning

Last Dream at the...

Relative Pitch Records
2017

buy
Tangle

Tangle

Fataka
2016

buy
So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain

So Beautiful, It...

Clean Feed Records
2016

buy
 

Plume

Challenge Jazz
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics CD/LP/Track Review
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Invisible Atlas CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Blue Dream CD/LP/Track Review
Blue Dream
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Err Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Err Guitar
by Don Phipps
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" CD/LP/Track Review Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Sextet (Parker) 1993" CD/LP/Track Review Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Windows and lights" CD/LP/Track Review Windows and lights
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 15, 2018