Dust to Dust
Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris
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||Othello B||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||8:05||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Bartok Comprovisation||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||7:11||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Via Talciona||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||12:20||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Long Goodbye||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||10:38||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Dust to Dust: Second & Third Parts||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||7:39||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Food Chain Dialogue||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||7:40||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Othello A||Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris||7:08||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Lawrence "Butch" Morris' conduction technique, a form of directed improvisation whereby musicians follow a variety of live hand signals by the conductor to shape and reshape both notated and non-notated music, has not taken on the revered status of Ornette Coleman's harmolodic method of free improvisation, but has produced equally exciting music. In fact, mirroring the keen mix of composition and improvisation found in both Anthony Braxton's and John Zorn's work, Morris' relatively structured music at times surpasses Coleman's more free-form output. If his conceptions were amateurish, Morris' "songs" would pale in comparison to any of the high-end work Coleman has produced, but, as is the case with Dust to Dust, the pieces come out sounding whole and refined, enhanced greatly by a variety of impromptu musical twists. Enlisting a stellar cast of 12 musicians including, among others, drummer Andrew Cyrille, pianist Myra Melford, harp player Zeena Parkins, clarinetist Marty Ehrlich, and keyboard player Wayne Horvitz, Morris works through a varied program of seven numbers, mixing electronic and acoustic elements to produce constantly shifting ambient soundscapes. The pieces range from the spacious and pastoral-sounding "Via Talciona" and "Othello A" (with the harp parts faintly evoking Japanese koto music) to the more tightly wound, atonal-minimalist "Bartok Comprovisation," which is insistently moved along by repetitive figures played on the piano and a variety of electronic instruments. For the duration of all these cuts, a multitude of sound fragments drift in and out as original themes progressively turn more diffuse, broken up by a variety of rhythmic shifts. Some sound contrivances don't come off, like a few awkward guitar bits on "Via Talciona," but considering the amount of improvisation going on here and the mostly seamless result, these indiscretions end up as attractive aberrations. Taking in Webern's 12-tone brevity, Far Eastern music, jazz, Brian Eno's ambient work, and a load of his own compositional ideas, Morris creates a sophisticated and satisfying mix on Dust to Dust.
Born: February 10, 1947 in Long Beach, CA
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s