For nearly a quarter century Vancouver BC's Coastal Jazz and Blues Society has presented many important premiere collaborations featuring the greatest jazz improvisers from around the world. On June 24th, 2007 an enthusiastic audience at the Western Front (Vancouver) was on hand to witness just such a stellar event. British saxophone phenom John Butcher teamed up with Vancouver's premiere contrabassist, Torsten Müller, and drummer extraordinaire, Dylan van der Schyff, for an incredible set of improvised music of the highest order. From the first note the trio was awe-inspiring, sharing an impeccable sense of structure and space. The results, while adamantly abstract and free, demonstrated a remarkable continuity and focus and the music flowed naturally throughout the entire concert. It was absolutely one of the most rewarding gigs in the festival that year and gave notice of a superb new working trio. Luckily, for those unfortunate souls who were unable to be there, the concert was recorded in its entirety and the good folks at Drip Audio have had the foresight to make it available in all its digital brilliance. This really is "crucial music" and I give it the highest recommendation without any reservation. Consider it your opportunity to experience one of the most important and satisfying recordings of the early 21st century. - Brad Winter (Creative Music Guild - Portland, Oregon)
English soprano and tenor saxophonist John Butcher is a wonder of modern music, master of a saxophone vocabulary that he has developed to a rare level of expression and execution. A first offspring of the London free-improvising revolution of the 1970s, he employs a vast range of saxophone sounds, from the traditional to the most idiosyncratic. Since moving to London in the late 1970s, he has collaborated with a who’s who of the world’s great freely improvising musicians, and he continues to be in demand for recording and performance appearances around the world.
German bassist Torsten Müller, now residing in Vancouver, B.C., has long been at the forefront of international free improvisation. Woefully and inexplicably under-recorded, the innovative Muller has radically departed from the sometimes limiting traditional sound of, and approach to, the double bass. Muller has enjoyed improvised music meetings with many of the most accomplished musical artists of the day, including the late Paul Rutherford and Ken Vandermark. He is also co-curator of one of the world's finest annual showcases of free improvisation, the Time Flies Improvised Music Meeting, held on three nights in February in Vancouver.
Percussionist extraordinaire Dylan van der Schyff brings masterful chops and scintillating sensitivity to a wide range of musics, from small-group jazz to big band extravaganzas to the most adventurous free improvisation. His expanded drum kit vocabulary and uncanny sense of what the music requires put him at the top of the list for co-conspirators from Vancouver and around the world. Evan Parker, George Lewis, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser, Mark Helias, Barry Guy, Michael Moore -- van der Schyff's list of high-profile collaborators goes on and on.