John Butcher

Anomolies in the Customs of the Day: Music on Seven Occasions

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Considering his revolutionary style, it may be surprising to know that saxophonist John Butcher was initially a more traditional jazz performer; you can occasionally hear those influences in his playing. For the most part, though, Butcher eschews that tradition and instead embraces a unique, highly creative aesthetic, incorporating individual sounds and advanced technique on the tenor and (especially) soprano saxophones. This recording might be viewed as a sort of hodgepodge, in that it gathers odds and ends collected by the saxophonist over a two-year period. All of the tracks are duets in which he engages some unsung talents from the free-improvisation world (including, among others, trombonist Jeb Bishop, pianist Veryan Weston, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, and percussionist Michael Zerang). It works remarkably well, and this is as fine an introduction to Butcher's work as any.

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