Morris was not merely a composer, arranger, bandleader or conductor. Or he was all of those things and more. In a film about Morris, our colleague Howard Mandel, a specialist on the avant-garde, says Morris’s music “is not jazz.” Or it is. This promotional clip for the film will give you a hint.
For a full sample of how Butch Morris worked, here he is at a festival in Italy in 2010. The players are J. Paul Bourelly (Guitar), On Ka’a Davis (Guitar), Harrison Bankhead (Acoustic Bass), Greg Ward (Sax), Evan Parker (Sax), Pasquale Innarella (Sax), Hamid Drake (Percussion), Chad Taylor (Drums — Vibraphone), Riccardo Pittau (Trumpet), Meg Montgomery (Electro Trumpet), Alan Silva (Synthesizer), Tony Cattano (Trombone), Joe Bowie (Trombone), David Murray (Sax)—an elite of the outcats.
To listen to Howard Mandel’s appreciation of Morris on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, click here.