John Butcher Discography Reviewed

Source: John Butcher.

In the Building a Jazz Library article on Evan Parker, it says that seasoned Parker followers would describe him as the finest improvising saxophonist of his generation. Curiously, many of those same people would use exactly that phrase about John Butcher. The simple explanation for this apparent contradiction is that we are talking about two generations; Parker (born 1944) is a member of the “first generation of free improvisation” (along with Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, John Stevens, Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy…) whereas Butcher (born 1954) is from the second generation (along with the similarly-aged Chris Burn, Phil Durrant, John Russell, Alan Wilkinson…) This is well illustrated by their discographies; Parker’s first recording, Challenge (Eyemark), was released in 1966, while Butcher’s first, Fonetiks (Bead)—a duo with Burn—came out in 1984.