The Squid's Ear Magazine


Stoffner, Florian / John Butcher / Chris Corsano: Braids (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

With incredible skill and nuance, using extended and stunning technique, and through intent listening of nearly telepathic communication, the trio of Florian Stoffner on guitar, John Butcher on tenor & soprano saxophones and Chris Corsano on drums & half clarinet, perform seven subtle and detailed improvisations live at Le Singe, in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in 2022.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Florian Stoffner-guitar

John Butcher-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophones

Chris Corsano-dums, half clarinet


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UPC: 752156104728

Label: ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd
Catalog ID: ezz-thetics 1047
Squidco Product Code: 34025

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Le Singe, in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, on May 22th 2022, by Andreas Neresheimer.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Bishop Desmond Tutu once told a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg that when a discussion with his father became heated, the old man would raise a hand and say "Don't raise your voice; improve your argument". A lot of music is shouting. It's sometimes a sign of passion and sometimes the result of careful building to a climax. But too often, it's a sign that there is no argument and that volume has replaced substance.

With that thought in mind, turn to "soft geometry", the opening track here. Each of these players is capable of tremendous volume, through amplification, huffing and roaring across the reed, or physically bashing the drum kit. And yet, one doesn't hear that at all. The music proceeds quietly, thoughtfully, and, always a giveaway, you find yourself leaning forward a little, to catch every nuance.

The other result of this measured approach is that instruments become not so much denatured as harder than usual to distinguish. A certain sound might be from the saxophone, or it might be from the end of a stick dragged across the drum skin. Another could be an amplified effect from the guitar, or an overtone left flying around like a newly emergent butterfly from one of the other players.

There was for a time a whole movement in improvised music thirled to low-volume playing: we'd had the New Complexity and the New Tonality; quite logical that we would experiment with the New Quiet. But it turned into the nouvelle cuisine (remember that?) of music. The less there was on your plate, the more you had to pay for it (and the hungrier you were). Just as every nouvelle cuisine "dinner" led you inexorably to the late-night currywurst stand, kebab shop or McDonalds, so a certain strand of New Quiet music was apt to send you home to listen to Albert Ayler at top volume. Quiet was a double-edged sword. If shouting was a sign that you had lost the argument, muttering was equally a sign of unease, as Zachariah Zelilo Tutu might have told his son. If you can't say it out loud, you're maybe wrong.

Much was learned from the New Quiet and much of it was very positive. The music here comes from three men who are quite capable of lifting the roof, should they choose to. But each of them has always had an instinct for delicacy, for the overtone over the moment of attack, and for the spaces between sounds. Corsano's rhythms, even when playing free, are like spider webs on a misty morning. There used to be a British television add, played to pastoral music, which showed just such a web, dewdappled and gleaming in the sun. A pair of pliers suddenly appeared and klik, the web was revealed as fine steel, not gossamer. That's my image of Corsano's playing. Butcher is a master of the subtle overtone, the accidentals (which, of course, he can control precisely) that surround the tones and come back off the walls and the audience. One of his most remarkable projects was a series of solo performances in remote Scottish locations, playing at and with standing stones and later architectures. I visited one of those locations recently and you can still hear him there, in the wind. Stoffner I first heard about ten years ago on an album called ... And Sorry that still seems to me one of the subtlest and most effective solo guitar records of recent times. I was able to talk about it enthusiastically without using either of the words "Bailey" or "Derek". Stoffner has the same precision of touch and sense of absolute detail. The guitar famously was the instrument that allowed untutored use to pick a chord and go twang, but it's also an instrument of extraordinary sophistication, laden with secret sounds: sighing, plinking like a music box, muscling out big chords.

Here, then, are three men who have, if you will, won the argument already. They don't need excess volume or headline soloing to get their message across. Their message is inscribed in an elegant lower-case and rarely used aural fonts. You will find yourself leaning forward because not a note or whisper should be missed ..."-Brian Morton, March 2023



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

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Artist Biographies

"Florian 'Flo' Stoffner ( 1975 ) is a Swiss jazz guitarist and composer.

Stoffner made his first experiences through performances with Harald Haerter and Erik Truffaz , including at the Lugano Festival. From the beginning of the 21st century he worked with musicians such as Marius Peyer ( Unsung Songs , 2000), Gitta Kahle , Christian Weber , Lionel Friedli , Hans-Peter Pfammatter , Manuel Mengis ( Into the Barn , 2004), Christoph Grab and Hilaria Kramer. , and in the Fat Son, Lauschangriff, Lila and Science Fiction Theater groups. In 2012 he came with a solo album... and Sorry ( Veto Records ). With Paul Lovens and Rudi Mahall he recorded the trio album Mein Freund der Baum ( Wide Ear , 2017). In jazz, he was involved in 15 recording sessions between 1990 and 2011."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flo_Stoffner)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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 (http://www.johnbutcher.org.uk/Biog.html)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"First spellbound by freely improvised music in the mid-1990s after witnessing performances by TEST, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, and others, Chris Corsano began a long-standing, high-energy partnership with Paul Flaherty in 1998. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop an expanded solo music of his own, incorporating sax reeds, violin strings and bows, pot lids, and other everyday household items into his drum kit. In February 2006 he released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, and C. Spencer Yeh. Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, most notably a duo with Michael Flower, Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and solo work, now revamped to include synthesizers and contact microphones in addition to his drum set and home-made acoustic instruments.

In addition to the those mentioned above, he's also worked with, among others: John Edwards (released by: Clean Feed/Dancing Wayang), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City/Family Vineyard), Paul Dunmall (ESP-Disk), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Jandek (Corwood), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand), MV&EE (Eclipse/Time-Lag), Vampire Belt (Open Mouth), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), and Wally Shoup (Leo/Columbia Japan)."

-Chris Corsano Website (http://www.cor-sano.com/bio.html)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Soft Geometry 7:27

2. The Zoo Is Next Door 5:23

3. Little Secrets Taken To Our Graves 6:19

4. Gneis 5:50

5. Charlatans Selling Miracles 8:16

6. Smaller Infinities 11:37

7. Elegant Frost 4:12

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
John Butcher
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Hat Art
New in Improvised Music

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ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd.


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