Archive for the Performances Category

Goya Time, Conduction No. 3

Posted in Clips, Performances with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by Vipal Monga

What a find!

imgresButch once told me about an amazing project which featured a roaming opera based on Goya’s paintings while he conducted a band of musicians from room to room in an abandoned East Village warehouse.

As it turns out, there’s a video of the performance, called “Goya Time.” The footage below has some rare video of Butch from that era.

David Dann has published a review of the project on his Gems of Jazz blog.

 Declaiming actors wandered in and out of the gymnasium where Butch’s musicians were creating a soundscape of melody, poly-rhythms and spiky cacophony. Dancers flitted by, appearing in the doorways one moment, on balconies the next. Interpretations of Goya’s paintings hung on the walls and – if I remember correctly – an artist was on stage painting on a huge canvas and on a naked woman’s body.

It was one whacky scene, and in the midst of it all was Butch and his musicians.

Read the entire post. It also features some priceless photos of a young Butch Morris in L.A. and in the army.

Dann also provides a link to a eulogy written by Butch’s dear friend Don Heffington

There’s also a description of the event on the Plexus International website.

Here, for your pleasure, is a short film of Goya Time.

Howard Mandel on Henry Threadgill’s Tribute to Butch

Posted in Performances with tags , , , , on January 12, 2014 by Vipal Monga

By all accounts, Henry Threadgill’s tribute to Butch at WinterJazz Fest 10 on Saturday was a resounding success.

Threagill PicHoward Mandel tries to capture something of the feeling the nearly hour-long piece evoked at Judson Church.

“Some wept openly, and at the end everyone cheered the uncompromised intensity of feeling Henry Threadgill evoked, simultaneously mourning and celebrating a man whose memory sustains artistic ambitions, and whose legacy of Conduction, songs and his tender cornet playing should not be forgotten.”

It’s hard to believe that almost a full year has passed since Butch passed on, but there’s something beautiful in the way his spirit still reverberates through the air, a note that continues to linger.

Read Howard’s review of the piece, here: http://www.artsjournal.com/jazzbeyondjazz/2014/01/henry-threadgills-tribute-to-butch-morris-winterjazz-fest-10.html

Henry Threadgill pays tribute to Butch

Posted in Festival Screenings, Performances with tags , , , on January 2, 2014 by Vipal Monga

I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to Butch.

Henry ThreadgillHere’s Henry Threadgill in a Wall Street Journal article, describing “Old Locks and Irregular Verbs,” his musical tribute to the Maestro:

“I knew at some point I’d find a way, through music, to take my hat off properly to Butch,” Mr. Threadgill said recently at an East Village pastry shop. An invitation to do so came from the Winter Jazzfest, where Mr. Morris memorably performed in 2011, and so Mr. Threadgill set about composing “Old Locks and Irregular Verbs,” a piece that will have its premiere at Judson Church on Jan. 11.

Wayne Horvitz Conducts at The Stone NYC May 21-26

Posted in Performances with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by Vipal Monga

Wayne Horvitz, who wrote a beautiful tribute to Butch on the New Music Box blog last month, is holding a residency at The Stone in New York City between May 21 and 26.

imagesThe NY Times’ Ben Ratliff, highlighted the performances in an article published on Wednesday.

Wayne, who called Butch his only mentor, is conducting his Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, using some of the technique he learned from Butch in the 1980s.

Says Ratliff:

Mr. Morris tended to use very little written music in his conductions, working from scraps. Mr. Horvitz, by contrast, is using his own themes and pre-existing pieces, some riff-based and directly out of the jazz tradition, but blowing them apart, making them judder and flash and fold in on themselves. His is an excellent band of nearly all Seattle residents — the soloists included the trombonist Naomi Siegel, the clarinetist Beth Fleenor and the saxophonists Kate Olson, Craig Flory and Briggan Krauss — and its had an efficacious start. What I heard in Tuesday’s early set was tighter and stronger than a live recording the band was selling at the club, made in Seattle only a few months ago.

Butch at Nublu

Posted in Performances with tags , , on June 14, 2012 by Vipal Monga

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Butch will be conducting the Nublu Orchestra in the East Village every Monday night this month as part of Nublu’s 10th anniversary celebration. Two sets every week. Funk like you’ve never heard it before.

Spend a Week with Butch at the Lisbon Jazz Summer School

Posted in Performances with tags , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by Vipal Monga

Butch will be teaching at this year’s Lisbon Jazz Summer School, between July 16 and 21. It’s a unique opportunity to spend a week with the maestro, learning his technique and exploring music in new ways. Details are at the CCB Lisbon Jazz site for those interested in attending. Deadline for applications is June 30.

Happy Birthday Butch

Posted in Performances on February 10, 2012 by Vipal Monga

Today is Butch’s birthday. In his honor, here is some film from 1978 of him playing cornet. The clip begins about 1:00 minute in.

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