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SoundGround >> A Sad Few Days for Jazzy, Funky Souls


1/29/13 5:14 PM
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hugomma
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In case you missed the ttt'd Jef Lee Johnson thread, he passed away last night, but unfortunately he was not the only one. Over the weekend, Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner passed away as well. Sugarfoot was the guitarist & front man for the Ohio Players, & one badass mutherfunker.
1/29/13 5:20 PM
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hugomma
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We also lost jazz composer/conductor Butch Morris.  I'm not as familar with Morris, but I know he worked with David Murray.  Here is the link to Butch Morris's Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Morris

 

Biography

Before his musical career, Morris served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Morris came to attention with saxophonist David Murray's groups in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Morris's brother, double bassist Wilber Morris sometimes performed and recorded with Murray during this period.

He also played with well-known artist and would be drummer A.R. Penck in 1990.

Morris currently leads a group called Orchestra SLANG. The group features Drummer Kenny Wollesen, alto saxophonist Jonathon Haffner, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke and others. He performs and presents regularly as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, held annually in New York City.

[edit]"Conduction"

Morris is the originator of Conduction (a term knowingly borrowed from physics): a type of structured free improvisation where Morris directs and conducts an improvising ensemble with a series of hand and baton gestures.

These conductions have received generally positive reviews, and are often considered quite unique, not quite fitting into any one musical genre: critic Thom Jurek has written, "There are no records like Butch Morris' conduction sides, nor could there be, though he wishes there were."[1] and Ed Hazell writes, "At his best, Morris can shake players out of their old habits, or place a microscope on one aspect of a musician's artistry and build an orchestral fantasia around it."[2]

 

1/29/13 5:28 PM
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hugomma
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Hopefully Ali sees this and comments.  May these great men all RIP.

1/29/13 9:02 PM
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Ali
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Man, I hadn't heard at all.

I don't know what to say beyond what you posted already -- Morris to me was a guy who played with a bunch of other guys. He played with Bobby Bradford, and Frank Lowe, and Horace Tapscott, and so on... and I really knew him as the "conductor" on David Murray's big-band records.

I remember reading about him in the "Arts and Leisure" section of the New York Times, back when. And was made aware of this "Conduction" idea. (He's not the only one, but he's the one that started using that word). But I haven't heard much of that except in the context of David Murray records. One of those people I always meant to "get to"... like, I wondered if he was another Threadgill type or something.

I don't really have much to say in the way of further insight into his art. I wish I got to it more. And yeah, I'm sorry to hear that he's gone.
1/30/13 11:02 AM
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DasBeaver
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RIP to all these great players.
1/31/13 2:01 PM
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hugomma
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Although this was posted on the RIP Pete Cosey thread, it also features Butch Morris & is worth another listen.

1/31/13 2:03 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 01/31/13 2:34 PM
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Still an hour left.  I'll have to see if it's archived.

http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/wkcr/story/butch-morris-memorial-broadcast-thursday-january-31

Submitted by Dylan Kario on Wed, 30 Jan 2013, 11:18pm

 

Butch Morris

Join us Thursday, January 31 as we honor the late cornetist, composer, and conductor Lawrence "Butch" Morris, who passed away this past Tuesday, January 29. Morris was famous for his innovative approach to arranging structured improvisation with large ensembles. He coined the technique of "conduction", which allowed him to participate in his ensemble's improvisations as a conductor by employing hand and baton gestures that signaled a range of musical interpretations. Among the approximately 5,000 musicians he played with during his lifetime, some notable collaborators included his brother, bassist Wilber Morris, saxophonist David Murray, saxophonist Frank Lowe, drummer Kenny Wollesen, saxophonist Jonathon Haffner, and trumpeter Kirk Knuffke. We will be broadcasting Morris's music beginning Thursday morning at midnight until 3pm, and will also host more memorial programming over the weekend. Tune in at 89.9FM or find our online stream above.

 

 

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