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Some (past) Collaborations


Peter Coker | Embers | Paal Nilssen-Love | Vanessa Mackness | Frisque Concordance


Peter Coker

I was very saddened by the sudden death, at the end of 2010, of my good friend Peter Coker.
We met at university in 1973, and began playing together in the group Habilis. Over the next decade we explored a lot of music together - especially jazz - playing scores of concerts, from wine-bar duos, through jazz quartets to concert big bands.
Some memorable gigs include the Bracknell and Hammersmith Jazz festivals, weekly residencies at Chat's Palace and The White Hart, Drury Lane, and somehow winning the 1980 BBC "Rehearsal Band of the Year" Award.
By the mid 80s Peter had moved away from playing guitar, but remained a passionate music lover.

This photo, by Patsy Bennett, is from one of our regular Sunday lunchtime duos at The Crown (aka Croker's Folly), St. John's Wood - late 70s.


Peter Nykyruj The Chat's Palace gig was often with Australian drummer Peter Nykyruj, who died in 2004. During his stay in London he worked closely with Mike Osborne and Harry Miller - recording Marcel's Muse in 1977.
We played together in various groups in the late 70s, including Chris Burn's Jazz Ensemble and the quartet in this photo, with Peter Coker and my brother Phil.

John Butcher - tenor
Peter Coker - guitar
Peter Nykyruj - drums
Phil Butcher - bass
Chat's Palace, London 1979.


Phil Butcher, moved away from jazz in the early 80s.
He went on to play with Iggy Pop, the Tiger Lillies and the Gang of Four - and to model for Yohji Yamamoto.
His own playing career was ended by a brain aneurism in 1998.


Embers

embers Marcio Mattos - cello
John Butcher - saxophones
Chris Burn - piano
Jim Denley - flute

This quartet started in 1985 when Australian Jim Denley moved to London.
Embers toured the UK and Europe and were memorably advertised by a Belgian promoter as "Angry Young Jazz".

 Embers Live

A cassette only release on Acta.

Live recordings from Holland and Birmingham - 1988.


Paal Nilssen-Love

john butcher and Paal Nilssen-Love
Butcher and Nilssen-Love first met when Paal opened for John's concert at Blå, Oslo in 1999. They then played together in 2002, when Paal organised a small tour in Scandinavia. Music from 2 of these concerts came out as the CD Concentric.

In 2006 Butcher joined the Sten Sendall Trio (+ Paal and Johan Berthling) for two concerts. This quartet visited the Vancouver Jazz Festival in summer 2007 and released the CD Strokes.

In 2015 they played together in duo again in Riga, Latvia - their first musical meeting since 10 years.



butcher nilssen-love sten sandell cd cover
order CD from Clean Feed
Strokes

Sten Sandell - piano & electronics
John Butcher - saxophones, acoustic/amplified/feedback
Johan Berthling - bass
Paal Nilssen-Love - drums and percussion

David Grubbs' Sleeve Notes | Dusted | all about jazz | Wondering Sound

Concentric

John Butcher - saxophones
Paal Nilssen-Love - drums and percussion

Bill Meyer's Sleeve Notes | Paris Transatlantic | all about jazz

"Not so much sheets of sound, but entire kingsize mattresses rain down."Wire.


Vanessa Mackness

mackness and butcher
© phillip edwards

Singer Vanessa Mackness was initially a painter; a graduate of the Camberwell School of Art. She threw herself into vocal work after meeting Phil Minton and Maggie Nicols.

Derek Bailey's 1990 London Company Week was the first occasion for Butcher and Mackness to improvise together. Many duo concerts followed (as well as some with Bailey), and they released Respiritus on Incus.

Mackness rarely performs now, and has returned to painting.

 Respiritus

Recorded in London in 1994.

Sculpture on cover by Richard Mackness.

Cadence

Both Butcher and Mackness's gifts seem particularly defined in the minute sensitivities of control. Butcher is a complete virtuoso, able to produce exquisite polyphonics and harmonics at any volime. Mackness's beautifully clear vocal production and her ability to see deply into the the meaning of Burcher's lush backgrounds make them an ideal pairing, and Respiritus a beautiful record. WIRE


Frisque Concordance

frisque Concordance Georg Gräwe - piano
Martin Blume - drums
Hans Schneider - bass

The quartet worked from the first concert in Nickelsdorf in 1991 until 1996. They released Spellings as the first issue of the Random Acoustics label. Butcher also joined the last version of Georg Gräwe's Grubenklang Orchestra and later made the duo CD "Light's View", released on Nuscope.

 Spellings

A live recording of the group's 2nd concert - in Bochum, Germany in 1994.
Released on Random Acoustics.


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