Re-release of John Butcher's classic debut solo CD. Solo and multitracked saxophones.
A masterful record which should be investigated by anyone interested in free playing.
Penguin Guide to Jazz
1991. A year which, with the release of Massive Attack's Blue Lines or Nirvana's Nevermind, was all about big, universal statements.13 Friendly Numbers was none of that. Contrarily, it was personal and timeless. And yet, it had something contemporary about it as well, marking the moment that free improvisation gained fresh momentum and the instant the London community found surprising points of contact with similar scenes which had gradually developed in mainland Europe and across the Atlantic. The early years of the 90s would turn out to be vital in this regard by putting a wealth of soon-to-be-influential musicians in touch with this radical and radically different music and intoxicating them with its virus. Guitarist Andy Moor, for example, had left Edinburgh at the turn of the decade to move to Amsterdam and join pioneering local formation The Ex. Introduced to the improv community by the band's Terrie Hessels, he was stunned to find a big, vivid scene of jazz and non jazz improvisers. Han Bennink, Ab Baars and Wolter Wierbos on the one hand and John Butcher and Derek Bailey on the other would turn into his first personal heroes. Butcher in particular felt like a revelation to Moor:
The sounds he was getting out of his instrument on 13 Friendly Numbers were sounds I'd never heard before coming from a saxophone. I found it really brave that a musician could release a CD like this."