One of my favourite trombone players, composers and fellow “Heavyweight” Christopher Butcher landed at the Pilot Tavern, leading an acoustic quartet through a pot-pourri of grooves, rhythms, and soul.
Backed by the incomparable Robi Botos on piano, my fellow York University alumni James McEleney and drummer Lowell Whitty, it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, filled with forward thinking, tight jazz at its best.
They first started things with the classic Herbie Hancock staple Cantaloupe Island, warming the audience for the afternoon of groove and soul being offered by the band. Next is an original by Chris’ called “Bone-in”, a blues that brings it back to the days of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with its classic drum shots, and bluesy solos. Fungi Mama, a Blue Mitchell staple, is provided the island treatment with a tight calypso groove from start to finish. Things cool down on the moody side with another original written for a film called “Hogtown”, capturing the downtown atmosphere very effectively. To close things off, they play an effective groove-oriented take on “Check the Rhyme”, climaxed by a very soulful and groovy piano solo by Mr. Botos himself, infusing even hints of gospel into the predominantly hip-hop and funk oriented number.
It would be nice that for the next step for Christopher Butcher’s quartet is to record a CD of this music because it is rare to have a pure quartet of just trombone and rhythm section. Christopher Butcher is a musician who is committed and serious to pushing the music and grooves of jazz forward and at a young age the possibilities are endless as to what he can do in the jazz world and beyond.
OFFICIAL CHRISTOPHER BUTCHER WEB SITE: