This British saxophonist has been at it since the early 80s, continually gaining steam in the world of avant garde music, releasing records at a clip of almost one a year since. Long recognized as a titan in free improv JOHN BUTCHER recently released a new record called WINTER GARDENS on the KUKURUKU label. As with most if not all modern improvising greats, BUTCHER’s sound is not simply about the noises coaxed from the air/reed dynamic and sent to out through the bell of his sax. There is the rhythmic patter of his pads, his use of mic feedback, and a profound use of silence on display here as well. Listening to the excerpt found below I was very drawn to this artist’s pervasive sense of rhythm across the entire piece. Whether skronking, or slowly building a hum to a warble and beyond, whether droning, or ducking away into silence there is a propulsiveness to these improvisations that draws me in and keeps me transfixed. Also as I was listening to the excerpt a co-worker of mine wandered in and kind of got freaked out and immediately left. So you know something right is happening here.
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These music reviews originally appeared in the January Boston Hassle Donor Newsletter