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British free improvising legend John Butcher met Scandinavian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg at Cafe Oto to record these intensely detailed yet sublimely reserved duos, three pieces segmenting the album title, an intimate and never extravagent dialog of great technical depth.

Butcher, John / Stale Liavik Solberg
So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain

Butcher, John / Stale Liavik Solberg: So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain (Clean Feed)

Label: Clean Feed    
Released in: Portugal    

"In a country and a musical domain where you have someone like Evan Parker, it's difficult for any emerging sax player to establish himself, but John Butcher managed to do it and with his own personal style, very different from Parker's. Now, he's one of the main figures of the United Kingdom free improvised scene and his name crossed frontiers.

So Beautiful, it Starts to Rain is a transnational enterprising, and another product of the British / Scandinavian connection, reuniting the tenor and soprano saxophonist with one of the top drummers in Norway, Stale Liavik Solberg. When you have a saxophone and a drumset together, with no other instruments around, you usually expect one more derivation of the pioneering album Interstellar Space by John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, but both Butcher and Solberg are experienced duet practitioners and their references are wider.

The collaborations with non-drummers like Andy Moor, Okkyung Lee, Matthew Shipp, Rhodri Davies of the first one are just some examples of that kind of investment, and the other is no stranger to the format, with partnerships developed with John Russell and Fred Lonberg-Holm. In consequence, the music is different from the sax/drums clichee, with an economy of notes not very usual in free form territory and a relaxed decision making during the improvisations. That's why this record is so special..."-Clean Feed

Biography for: John Butcher's

"John Butcher's work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.Originally a physicist, he left academia in '82, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians - Derek Bailey, John Tilbury, John Stevens, The EX, Akio Suzuki, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, Okkyung Lee, John Edwards, Toshi Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, Mark Sanders, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Phil Minton, and Andy Moor - to name a few.

He is well known as a solo performer who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of place. Resonant Spaces is a collection of site-specific performances collected during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.His first solo album, Thirteen Friendly Numbers, includes compositions for multitracked saxophones, whilst later solo CDs focus on live performance, composition, amplification and saxophone-controlled feedback.

HCMF has twice commissioned him to compose for his own large ensembles. Other commissions include for Elision (Australia), the Rova (USA) & Quasar (Canada) Saxophone Quartets, reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori (USA), "Tarab Cuts" (based on pre-WWII Arabic recordings, and shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer's Award) and "Good Liquor .." for the London Sinfonietta. In 2011 he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.

Recent groupings include The Apophonics with Robair and Edwards, Anemone with Peter Evans, Plume with Tony Buck & Magda Mayas and a trio with Okkyung Lee & Mark Sanders.Butcher values playing in occasional encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with David Toop, Kevin Drumm, Claudia Binder, Paal Nilssen-Love, Thomas Lehn, Fred Frith, Keiji Haino, Ute Kangeisser, Matthew Shipp and Yuji Takahashi."

-John Butcher Website (

Biography for: Stale Liavik Solberg

"Solberg holds a Masters degree in improvisation at the Norwegian Academy of Music and has since worked in the Norwegian and European improvisation scene, u. a. with Øystein Eldøy, Frode Gjerstad, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Eivind Lønning, Stine Janvin Motland, David Stackenäs, Joe Williamson and Per Zanussi in the formations Hot Four, Motsol, S / S Motsol and VCDC. He also played in a duo with John Russell and in a trio with Steve Beresford and Martin Kitchen, 2014 in trio with Alan Silva and Mette Rasmussen . With Paal Nilssen-Love, he organized the Blow Out! Festival in Oslo. [3] Solberg lives in Oslo."

-Wikipedia DE (translated) (

See all items in the Clean Feed category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
John Butcher
Clean Feed
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New in Improvised Music
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Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5609063003901

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF390CD
Squidco Product Code: 22569

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Cafe Oto in London, England, on August 11th, 2015, by James Dunn.


John Butcher-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone

Stale Liavik Solberg-drums, percussion

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Track Listing:

1. So Beautiful 8:04

2. It Starts 16:32

3. To Rain 10:51

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