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Testament: A Conduction Collection / Conduction #11

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Album Review

This is a superlative collection of Morris' conducted improvisations. The general methods of conducting become a framework within which to create and direct by gesture. Meter and form, melody and harmony are all up for transformation in this setting. These pieces bring to mind the humorous and expected turns in pieces composed as cartoon soundtracks. Voices (that can add an Oriental flair) and odd instruments that contribute to the exaggerated and comedic side juxtapose in these pieces. Included are many East Asian instruments (nokan, ohtsuzumi, tugaru, etc.) in the three pieces recorded in Japan. A final, fourth piece is a European recording and includes both classical instruments (cello, piano, etc.) and several horns with drum and guitar.


Born: 10 February 1947 in Long Beach, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Lawrence "Butch" Morris first became known as a lyrical, round-toned (if roughly hewn) free jazz cornetist. As his career progressed, his cornet playing took a back seat to his bandleading; Morris invented a style of organized group improvisation that was dubbed "comprovisation," an elision of composition and improvisation. Morris' organization relied on a conducting technique that he called "conduction." Conduction is basically a manner of shaping an improvised performance by using hand signals...
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Testament: A Conduction Collection / Conduction #11, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris
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