John Butcher The Geometry Of Sentiment

Saxophonist John Butcher is nobody’s idea of the consummate jazzman. Barely interested in "the tradition,” Butcher forces the listener into his world of near-clinical sound constructions. No one, uh, butchers their embouchure quite so much. Often his playing is so subtle and microtonal — literally moving spit around in his instruments, or playing the pads on his instrument for percussive value — that it’s hard to appreciate his genius. That’s why this CD is essential; it’s the embodiment of so many aspects of his playing. This collection of solo pieces is compiled from recordings made around the world. Often he plays with natural reverb, contrasting extreme volume sheets of sound with long decays. Elsewhere, he experiments with feedback to great effect, conjuring up ringing overtones. As usual, his phrasing and melodic sense barely touch on jazz at all — the listener has to surrender to Butcher’s personal sound universe. While you wouldn’t call this record soulful, his deep conviction and individuality are exactly that, which makes for a fulfilling listening experience. (Emanem)