"Last Dream of the Morning"
Mark Sanders - John Edwards - John Butcher
A similar subtlety defines Crucial Anatomy, the second album by the trio of Sanders, saxophonist John Butcher and bassist John Edwards. Amid the transparent clarity of malleted toms and blocks, that nasty groove Sanders can set up at any moment just peeks around the corner on “Free from Ghosts” before disappearing again to return in various transformations. Edwards and Sanders are as tight as ever, as their loose but womb-secure interplay opening the microtonally droning “Curling Vine” attests and Butcher may as well be an orchestra unto himself. The composer and improviser Keith Rowe telescopes time by amplifying the clicks made by movements of a steel ruler; Butcher does something similar via staggeringly fast articulation, flutter-tonguing his way toward rapture as the trio intensity slowly builds from atomism toward laminarity. Beyond all of this is the iridescent opening of “Spike Oil”, where the obvious percussion comes from Edwards! Butcher and Sanders are in territory initially charted by AMM or Group Ongaku. While Butcher’s nearly inaudible rustlings liquify the air, Sanders resonates and brushes parts of his kit in solidarity, several minutes of permeable bliss before the piece takes on something close to an idiom.