Butch Morris

Butch Morris ( born February 10, 1947 in Long Beach, California as Lawrence Douglas Morris, † January 29, 2013 in New York City, New York ) was an American jazz and improvisational musicians ( conductor, composer, trumpeter ).

Life and work

Morris was educated at Grove Street College in Oakland and first played on the West Coast in the groups of Horace Tapscott, Arthur Blythe and Bobby Bradford and later with Frank Lowe, with whom he was on tour in Europe in 1976. He then spent a year in Paris, where he worked with Steve Lacy, with Frank Wright and Alan Silva. After his return to the United States, he settled in New York City. He played in the Loftszene, which emerged as an alternative to the clubs and concert halls commercially designed in the 1970s. He also began a fruitful partnership with David Murray, David Murray on how 1991 Big band Conducted by Lawrence " Butch" Morris.

Later he played with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Myra Melford, Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Elizabeth Panzer, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Jeanne Lee, Shelley Hirsch, Peter Kowald, Bobby Previte, Frank and Manfred Schoof Köllges. He has performed, among others, on the Total Music Meeting and the Berlin Jazz Festival. In the 1990s, he has also played with AR Penck; occasionally it also came to work with his brother, bassist Wilber Morris, who died in 2002. For the last group of Morris Orchestra SLANG, drummer Kenny Wollesen include, inter alia, Alto saxophonist Jonathon Haffner, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke.

Morris died in late January 2013 in a New York hospital from the effects of a diagnosed in August 2012 lung disease.

Composition and conduction

Morris was also a prolific composer, both for solo instruments (piano, harpsichord ) and also wrote for larger ensembles improvsierender musicians. To this end, he developed the principle of conduction and directed improvisation ( Conducted improvisation ). Here, he coordinated and steered the playing of the musicians through a repertoire of about 20 different hand signs, which enabled him to retrieve and improvised parts by specific attitudes of his baton. He directed such diverse ensembles such as the Orchestra della Toscana, the Orquesta Joven de Andalucía, the Visions Festival Ensemble New York or the Aquarius Ensemble and Big Band Nieuwe Muziek in the Netherlands. He oversaw the temporal sequences and put the sounds partially fixed. Morris was based on moderate contemporary chamber music, laid emphasis on character work and ordered the part, the creative improvisation of his musicians.