The Apophonics - On Air (4 stars)

The Apophonics - On Air

Energetic and emotionally resonant free improvisation from jazz trio

Apophonics: a pun on 'apophenia', the human tendency to see patterns in random data. This masterful set of free improvisation, however, is anything but formless. The Apophonics boast three of music's most advanced instrumental thinkers: on saxophones, John Butcher; on bass, fellow Londoner John Edwards; and on 'energised surfaces' and synth, American percussionist Gino Robair, whose recent gigs include Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and Tom Waits. Robair vibrates his drum skins with an EBow, household gadgets and bicycle horns, producing drones, rasps, scrapes and clatters while Edwards' bowing evokes a creaky trapdoor, out of which creeps Butcher's chromatic theme. On 'London Melody' a frolicking marimba dances a demented fugue around pizzicato bass, while Butcher runs amok through a poultry farm. While On Air might not astonish in the way that Butcher's solo sets do, it's a joy to hear him in engage in such energetic and emotionally resonant collective improvisation.

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