JOHN BUTCHER / TORSTEN MULLER / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF – Way Out Northwest

Drip Audio

Recorded in June 2007 at Vancouver’s Western Front thanks to the organizational acumen of the Coastal Jazz And Blues Society, this act compares the different fantasies and the compatible extravagances of three respected improvisers, captured in six tracks that – although not constituting “one of the most important and satisfying recordings of the early 21st century” (ah, the inimitable excitement of a press-release…) – are without a doubt a fulgent example of lucidity and, why not, clever sense of humour put at the service of instantaneous diversification resulting in excitingly unsullied, literally liberated surges – which, naturally, we’re always in need of.

The performance offered by the trio is authoritative in each of its aspects. As a collective, the music flows with a multitude of dimensions: chirpy fluttering, unconfined exuberance, tight propinquity, scarce obsequiousness. The single instrumentalists shine for their productive impenitency, Butcher alternating brashness and perspicacious intuition through a (customary) total control of the dynamics of overtones, his machine overheating at times, regurgitating remnants of pitch elsewhere. Muller’s bass tone might sound hirsute or preternatural, but not for a moment he appears like a blusterer, playing lines whose cultivated immediateness makes for swift confutation of the instrument’s habitual pleonasms. Van Der Schyff belongs to the group of those percussionists who tend to fragment and partition the basic notion of tempo, altering the natural tendency of an average human organism to follow a regular pulse, euphoria and hypersensitive breeziness materializing from a libertarian despoliation of percussive mendacity. This is the kind of beauty which derives from the poetry of unsuspected occurrence, and – for a change – the often extreme condensation of events is felt as relieving.

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