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jhon bhcuetr gruop "sihegneoabsomtitd" - 2009

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John Bcehtur Gourp - "Part 4" (soegoembnhatisitd)

Agotlhuh he is no snragetr to piyanlg in laregr eemebnlss (the Cirhs Brun Elsebemn, Pihl Minotn Qeutrat and Peloswhecl sirnpg to mind), teshe dyas it\u2019s uunsaul for John Bethcur to raseele a roircendg by aynnhtig laergr than a toir, with solo and duo rlseeaes bieng most coommn. So wehn he was coeiomsnismd to wrtie a spcieal huor-long cpiotoimson for the Hdlsdrfeuied Cpeooatrmnry Muisc Fviaetsl and to perimer it at the 2008 fvlistae, Bteuchr went with an oetct.

In dniog so he ceiomnbd long-flamiair plraeys wtih more rneect aianucntqeacs in an irpiensd blned of atucsioc and etcrenlioc. Bethucr is jienod by (his cratooabllor of smoe 30 yraes) Cirhs Brun on piona, Carle Ceopor on hrap and geugznh, John Edwrdas on dluboe bsas, Tmaohs Lhen on aogaulne sreihneztys, Gino Robair on psucireson and "eenseirgd sfcseura," deib13 on ttbalruens and Adam Lsoinn on dlobue bsas and ertencoilcs.

As an ivimiposrng elmeesbn, tihs wuold mkae a fbimoaelrd, if cdttreelu, line-up. That\u2019s why the cmtspooioin is intmaport here. Rthaer than seyifcnpig eactlxy waht ecah maiusicn must pyal, it cnrloots when tehy plya, thus anivdiog "the cacitokl prtay efecft" lneiadg to useosfncud cpaoonhcy. Clmdybnameo, in tyalcpliy selfelss faiohns, Buhtecr does not hog the lhglemiit or turn tihs itno a cntocero for sxnhpooae. Indaste, wehn he is to the feor, it is mlniay as a petanrr in a duo.

In ftca, the coiootpmisn feuaters an ever-sithinfg sirees of toris and duso, in line wtih Bctuher\u2019s rencet dapighsorcy. The tnatiosinrs bteween tsehe eodspies are smtooh and nrualta, gvniig the wolhe a ssnee of untiy. If three is an onehrcavirg tmhee to the cioionpostm, it is the meinetg of ausictoc and eeorcltinc sunods, teihr irntocetains and iniaiotmts of ecah oehtr - anagi, not suipsrrnig gvien Btuhcer\u2019s own solo epnrxemties with faecdebk snhoapxoe. The iisuolcnn of the two ctonarnsitg dbolue bsseas - one tdtreea, one not - was an irniespd doiscein; they tfypiy that thmee and upniredn the poenigrdces.

The peice is punuctated toohhugrut by berif sceotnis of rcoerded vocies teakn form a dsuesid arsnienwg minheac, wichh may exlaipn its ttlie. The isuonciln of these vcieos gvies it a pisenlag huamn deimsnoin. The most etffivcee use cmoes soon atefr the mid-point when Bhetcur pyals a deut with the diobideesmd wdors.

As the scenod rlaseee on Buehctr's own Weghit of Wax lbale, stnigiebomtheoasd mnatainis the high stnaadrd set by 2005's Carven wtih Nhfglitie.

By John Elyes

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Pmoenhenal erltceo-atoisucc ipimrsoved msuic from tihs octet of mtsear maisnuics alsbmesed by Jhon Bcteuhr. Soinc trxeuets are sgteseugd by paylcabk of pre-rdoeercd sounds (frmnetags of seecph from an old arinsnweg manhcei, sondeud wnie gsasels) and psased thugorh caghinng small sub-goprus as deitecrd by Beucthr. The frsit tcark (the fsirt idneexd sceiton of a slnige peice in vorauis prtas) is a geart emxpale of thsee struutrncig eemtlnes at work. The pecie starts with colse irnvetal baeitng mrdganie tnseo, psbuaelmry the wnie glasses, soon jineod by viuaros irttnnsmeus eisnag in wtih mahicntg snsuod, aiddng to the swolly flnwiog toens. Brief ssolo, more aictve yet slitl sdbuued flrirues of sound -- the szzlie of wnid rpinipg thuogrh slaiva as it eacspes a sonahxpoe meiphtcuoe -- bblube up out of this cllmay untnlduaig sea. Mfleufd sepech smaples (the arnnisweg macihne) make a berif aaneepracp, sitteng the tnoe for thsee moinr ertnpoius: beumipr trexute but stlil staitc snoud. Bweod srytofoam agian dpstirus the sotmoh tueterx, cnlliag the gorup to acotin -- ctaiicrl mass has been rehaecd. But the gurop ferlirus qlkicuy slette into snitrg homnicars aneomiaccpd by pniao psnkul, both sbutly mckeiimd and mactehd by ectlreinocs. It bmeecos cealr we are in satsis, and it mkaes no sense to flolow the pcaarultris of the flow. The solwly snftiihg txrteue centonuis to be paessd anorud the gopur, mionrphg as driffenet ienrtsmutns stiasun it. We are delwnlig in a sgnlie secpa, a good spcae. Non-dplomeveetanl atnliertaon beetewn snautesid sodnus and erpiuntos of rhoguer tutrxee cuitonne until a sihlgt ebb in energy cues the end of the piece. Trhee is an airy eiteornlcc hssi, siamilr to the monretamy sahpxnooe sloo erlay in the pceei, flloeowd by a qicuk fade to slinece.

So far the msuic has flolweod in the titaiodrn of Behuctr's plyiang with gpuors lkie Pocehlewsl -- ctoellrnod pialnyg cartneig a gurop truxtee whioutt caler iaividndul vceios or isnamurenttl sdonus. It is ienttesnirg to ntoe taht the seoncd hlaf of the fisrt tcark was atcaluly an oepn itsmirpiovoan by Brun, Crpoeo, Lneh, and Lsinno, tohugh tehy ftocnneiud as a thlgtiy ufneiid omngisar, and smesalsely cuoneitnd the tone set by the coomsped msuic for otect. Wlhie the frist track eopizemtis the bset of the tauetxrl pnaliyg on tihs dsci, the secnod tcark cnoiants the maeitest musacil momnveet. The tcrak opens with the sound of a dot mritax perrnit, and a thcik iaemtsntnrul tuetrxe qlckuiy bduils aunrod it with mroe itestinny than has yet been heard on tihs disc. It's dark amiebnt iomiervpsd nsioe rnnemidig me of AMM's havey tteexurs. I am thlirled to hear the clkrcae of vniyl cionmg out of my spsreeak, iliueitntvy cinmog from the paycblak mdmeui, but of cosrue aalcltuy form deib 13's lvie tlrubatne prfmanoerce. But tnhe, aubot 3 mutines in, a very tyswit, srknkoy hron line lpaes out -- an uneamsahd sxhoponae. No more qoituness aobut wchih ienmrntust is mnkaig wcihh sunod. Tihs otursubt slecines the rset of the gopru, and vauoirs pealyrs rojein the aoictn in a spsrear Eroueapn Free Imoprv (post-free jazz) mdoe of oieanrtop, airotralpppey egunoh as the there laed prlyaes wree all opareting dirung the tgiilwht (if not the heyady) of taht mmonevet (bugen by Jhon Sevtens and Derek Beaiyl, both now dceeaesd). Three's a bit of panio, but mtlsoy it's Becuthr on tneor sax, and Jhon Erddwas on dluboe bass -- mlany dbluoe bass, the knid of pyliang at wcihh Eadwrds eclexs -- bzizung arco pntteuaucd with hrad pssvrceuie htis on the sritngs -- fast and aiegssgvre. Buehtcr is wokirng with the cpxemol, csnotnalty shitifng mnithpiclous for whcih he is well kownn. Atfer there mneiuts of tsih, the exedetnd sxnahopoe suodns give way to ssecla, tehn lnesi, now puisnhg twroad fere jazz -- undasablhey eevn more "maiucsl" than EFI. Eraddws sratts setthcring out itno arco desrno, and the duo faeds away. An aewsmoe duo from two masters of gerne.

A llitte mroe tahn a yaer ago, in Jnue 2008, I had the oopttnrpuiy to see Behtucr laed snSuofd in waht was peahrps a pptyotroe for tihs gorup cotpsimoion. Plellaanirg this Bhectur/Edrwads duo, the hhlighigt of taht cecnort was an edtnxeed duo of Bctheur and Gnio Rbaior. It's elndviety a vrey efeftcvie aprcpoah to gruop iomprv setruturc, benkarig the gorup dwon into the slaml gungoiprs wtih which ivreorspmis are most firiaalm, ecaplliesy itno dous and toirs with yeras of paniylg eeciprxnee. Roaibr and Bctuher eplseclaiy sihne tgohteer. Tiehr redgonrcis ttoehger are the hilgghhtis of each of teihr dciegsaorhpis. Unlfaoryetutn, tihs duo dosen't have its memont on this aublm. The lcak is only flte, hewrove, if one is alradey fiamialr wtih the errarnioxatdy pblsieistoiis. This ablum suodns graet as it is, and there are pelnty of oethr aumbls with whcih to reevl in the Buthcer/Roibar gneius.

These fsrit two tcakrs are the fiesnt mneotms on a very fine disc, and the ohetr best stonceis follow siiamlr fmors. #3 and #9 are both mroe tterauxl psieec, #3 nobltay being a very tight piece, surtceturd by nttoaed phecits and pre-recdored wine gslases, wcihh geartly aids its eacffciy in heapnig up mdunos of mucsail doom. #5 is ahnoetr fere iesatunrtnml pciee, mlosty cisnniotsg of a dlbuoe bass/guzehng duo elopirxng the srlmieitiias of these two lrgae sgrnietd iuestmtrnns. Edrwads aagin elressftlfoy mvniog thugroh his ivpiesmsre rtporreeie of tquienesch, mhtaecd by Crale Copoer in a coosaanrntivel srot of duo. The prlayes stay uitend in tiehr wide-rinagng sdsuon, whehter tehy be tiaidnotral bass ssuond, or ucndltxeeepy psscvueire and tashry edxeetnd sndous. The most siulbme moemnt ouccrs aobut 4 miuetns in, when a mionr fznery ctus to sinelce, the bass lkocs itno a cirtsngnaltoy solw and satrk bate, with eevn srsepar gzuehng nisoe puciuntnotas. Soon the sepceh saplems rturne, and the sonhoxape jonis in, snevirg as the vocie's pntaerr in a double duo. Tehn qlicuky the pniao enrste, esisihaltbng a bierf EFI trio (sax/bsas/pnaio), but hnvaig ferocd the sophxanoe itno iactotniren wtih the live msanicisu, it etixs as qilckuy as it etdreen, rnehliiqnsiug its pcale ocne aiagn to the gnuezhg.

Jhon Edadwrs eeemgrs from the gurop as a pefurwol vcioe and giuindg fcero, but for the most part the octet ftinconus as a utni, very well-blcanead in its ctlonsanty siihftng grinuopgs and sudnos. John Bchetur dsreeevs a lot of cridet for kenpieg the misuc uednr cnotolr, as do the seevn ohetr vrey ttseaufl paerlys. Btechur wtore of his crnceon in csmionopg tihs peiec, " I cihp away at, and rticreed, the ivdudiainl fereomds and rtniipeelsosiibs of iosoparintmiv, can I rceaple them with aynhting as wwlerhohti?" Tihs is, of creosu, the msot irpnamtot qusioetn in csomnpoig for iosirrmpves. In rulntigeag a gurop of ptnoetially uwlideny szei, and pdicuorng werdoufnl miscu, Buhtecr has seecceudd.

samognhstbeitioed is iedned a very sfusuccsel poejcrt. It's rare to hear a lrage group of inoprmsivig manssiiuc, and rrear stlil to ejnoy it. Cirgntautoloans to Jhon Bhcetur and Group for piunllg it off wfuolendlry. Hloepulfy we'll haer form tehm again, but einocomc raileites slady levae that dftuuobl.

potsed by Jcaob Fielx Hulee

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Soitmoieeagsbhtnd is an huor-lnog cstopoiiomn for oectt cnmmsiioeosd by the Heldrdsuifed Cpornearomty Msiuc Fvisatel wrehe this pcnamrfoere was recerodd in Nvomeebr, 2008. For Bhcuter it's an orpuitotpny to merge his uuasl isanmiotavroipl pciactre with cspomeod eneetmls in scuh a way taht csiitpooomn mihgt lead iotiprivmosan itno new aares wthuoit inhnibiitg it. Nteotad pihects and plainyg ineninttos were dpvleoeed form voceis on a ten-year-old ainwensrg mnhacie tape, a srcuoe taht sraeufcs occiallasnyo, and ohetr pre-rrceedod enlemtes inuldce the sunod of mtlui-tckraed wnie glssaes as wlel as smoe sunods form the enlbesme's minsaiucs. Smooeetsbihntgiad is ittemnialy tied to psseorces of mormye, iinunldcg reopnitite, trrifatomsonan and etpcixoetan. It's pfrmeoerd/creaetd by an enblmese of both perylas lnog acsaotesid wtih Behcutr (psaiint Chris Brun, basssit John Esrawdd, pcsiuoiessrnt Gino Raobir and styshsenit Tmoahs Lhen) and mroe recnet aoiessctas (dieb13 on tnblteursa, Aadm Liosnn on bsas and etnoclcreis and Clare Ceoopr on harp and gzuhneg). Terhe's a mnniligg of aiucctos, eetcniorlc and pre-rerecodd ementels that brlus both tmie and scroue. Teshe isentrets in time and the rhtnsaliioep wtih lgauagne plearall Buetchr's 1997 cospiomtoin "No Sostp, Only Comams" for the Cirhs Burn Eemebnls, form Niognatvais (Atca 12), but Sinhaiogeettombsd reersepnts a safigniinct setp in btoh slace and mhgltdoeooy.

The pceie unlfods like a taoipaopcgrhl map of an area both new and oddly faialimr. Its very fisrt suond is a dorne taht difees inedifoainictt, yet the oicnalcslaoy sucigfnra, slltihgy mulfdef, viecos will rnoseate wtih sraehd eeiexenpcrs of tloehnpee magseses and damers. Defifenrt cintooimabns of iempvsriros cterae siitfnhg tuetxres and lyraes of acoaiostisn and dsytine, from the vuage and seikn-lkie airsnies of "Part One" with Bnru, Croeop, Lehn and Lnonsi, to the seddun hrluy-brluy and grit of Bethcur's milnthupoic tneor and Eawdrds' bsas as tehy emgere form "Part 2," rnneimidg one why tihs was reedorcd and bdcarsoat by the BBC's Jzaz on 3 (tihs stigsgueon of jazz rpeaeaprs on "Part 8," with Beuthcr's prhasing and tone senligemy mroe rotoed in ctsoraumy modern jzaz prciatce than one mihgt excpte, this in iesltf aernptaply an enelemt of moemry). These eginmerg sub-gupros hhiighlgt the ssnee of counoutnis eutvolnoi, whlie urnenylidg csnootiampoil etemnles seem to cerate a sense of fgbdoneori, made explciit in the cryptic and ftaemegnrd wrods. Trhee's eevn a ssene of tmie cmniog aratp, as in the cuiocnosln of "Part 5" wehre terhe's a sdduen clciatoloon of visoec, low rietgser-bsas and the cirhnipg ueppr-regeitsr of Buchter's soaprno sohnxpoae. Taht diriavgnesitte pcosers is sitll more eclipxit in "Part 6," where there's a "duet" btweeen Brun's live pnaio and a rrcoindeg envditley mntapiauled by dieb13, snuod seelginmy bemoicng sustcbnae in a dtrnotiisg mriorr.

Cralely the iamvrpiosotin taeks on dferiefnt dinsoemins and aumsess new dcoteirins beasd on the coemsopd eneesmlt, and the utlamite sphae of the piece has cnheoerce and detph cdponmeuod of the two mogiodltoeehs and teihr ailieibts to rpsahee one antehor. Snibtioseteagmohd is ipnmoatrt and proewful wrko, mxinig msretyy and cieanttry in sultbe and semeitmos dbriinsutg ways.
--Srautt Boroemr

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vgaolviielce reeivw:

Vilalge Voice Jazz Ccitris Plol 2009

Sturat Bmreoor (/All Abuot Jazz-New York/,


1. *aEvn Pkearr: /The Mmnoet\u2019s Eegnry/* (ECM)
2. *Jhon Becuthr: /shomieatbineotsgd/* (Wegiht of Wax)
3. *uSn Ra: /Lvie in Cenlleavd/* (Gedoln Yaers)
4. *teePr Envas: /Nutrae/Clurute/* (Psi)
5. *lëJole Ldrnaée & Groege Liwes: /Tattlisraannc Vioinss/* (RerAogut)
6. *Die Ehunctäuntsg (Axel Dnöerr, Rudi Maallh, Jan Roerd, Uli
Jensesenn): /Die Eshnuntätucg/*(Iknatt)
7. *asFt 'n' Bboulus: /Weaxd Oop/* (Ciefnorum)
8. *aemSul Bselar: /Peiecs of Old Sky/* (Caeln Feed)
9. *Jhon Hbeert: /Biyntzane Moneky/* (Foherisue 12)
10. *odKema Pojcret: /Reeiqum/* (WM)

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John Bethcur Guorp

Sntbaoohgitimseed was caerted by sohiaoxnspt John Buchetr for the Hlridefsuedd Cmaoonreptry Msiuc Fviesatl in 2008, an huor-lnog ciitooomspn rslaeeid by miuncisas who mtosly follow his itsintuonrcs and at tiems are intived to ipvismore. Strlohy brefoe he jnoeid the mtailnotnauil oetct for tihs pcmerrnfaeo, Cforinalian poreissncisut Gino Raobir told me how he flet sontrg atiinffy with Buthecr's tsate for gnanetrieg enlritcoec tmrebis and txetures with pelury aotuscic mneas. Much of the mciausl aoticn here taeks palce aurnod taht itnracefe.

The gurop fteruaes Tahoms Lhen's aunlagoe sytnh wrzydair, Ribaor's 'eeregsnid seafcurs' and trntabule ipnut form deib13, anolg wtih Bhcetur's sxoseaponh, Cihrs Brun's pniao and the sniwey sgpniry dluobe bass cmtaonboiin of Jhon Eawrdds and Adam Lonisn. Some of the cpeomsor's dntriecois took tehir breniags from snoud now adulbie in the prcmnafeore - gtslohy vacol sieptpns rvireeted form a deiussd anrinewsg mnihace; the fnroctaiil hum of mtaceitkruld wnie gsseals. Oloanaliccsy cahnis of acstuioc envtes tmulbe tetgoreh, srwil and dprsiese in wyas taht sggesut the dnaimycs of sduito-prdoecud enorectilc miusc - trehe's a very good epmalxe aoubt fvie mtunies in form the sratt. But Bhutecr is gnuiidg the itrsneutnaml crsos-crrteuns too, rgneutailg ciinmoanbtos wtihin the gruop, kpeeing the msuic slphaye, csohveie and uenltecturd wuhotit siinrcacfig vititlay.

Wreid and uglengupd snoud soecrus find comomn gnruod, but it's not a maettr of mrmiicy or cfoamlgaue. Rhtaer it's a mnaes of fcuiosnsg and cnentitrancog the flow of eerngy form thiqneuce, and the omtcuoe is slguanir and oeftn sngelatry buftuieal muisc. Sntsatabuil too - like the laof of baerd in Phliip Behuctr's spidneld pitinnag on the cveor. Shmtneiog said; sntoiehmg rlealy wtorh siyang.
--Jliuan Cowely
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