Point of Departure review of The White Spot

Way Out Northwest

John Butcher - Torsten Muller - Dylan van der Schyff

As anyone reading this knows, one of the joys of improvised music is in listening to one-off meetings - of the sort facilitated by touring - develop over time into steady (or at least semi-regular) units. One example of this is saxophonist John Butcher's ongoing work with percussionist Dylan Van der Schyff and bassist Torsten Muller.

On The White Spot, theirs is a fierce, focused music. Butcher is especially adept at modifying his singular voice to fit the context; here, his long burrs and burls fit particularly well with the woody bustle of his partners. It's hard to deny the insectoid pleasures of "Graminea," where Muller's pizzicato abilities and occasional, honest-to-goodness walking lines make for nice contrast with the otherwise non-idiomatic expressions. There's some glorious hush and wafting overtones on "Impressum," some pungent soprano lines and intervals amid the swirl on "Schoepfiae," urgent jabs on "Earlianum," and - from Van der Schyff - a big roar and Lovens-ish rumble on ""Saponariae." Bracing stuff.

© Jason Bivins / POD