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John Butcher, soprano and tenor saxophones
Mike Hansen, record players
Tomasz Krakowiak, percussion
Produced and mixed by Mike Hansen.
Recorded by Paul Hodge, live to 2 track, at the Music Gallery, St. George the Martyr Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 2002.
What the critics are saying:
*** —Penguin Guide to Jazz on cd Seventh Edition
"A key to the success of this recording is the well-balanced "equation" of these three specific musicians. Hansen is a Toronto-based turntablist who tends more to Christian Marclay than Kid Koala. He explains, "I started manipulating records back in high school during my school radio program. My sound comes from two old record players and a couple of guitar pedals." Krakowiak self-deprecatingly refers to his set-up as "Nothing else but a drum with a microphone attached to it, going further to an old digital delay/ echo/ reverb effect box." Butcher, one of Britain's most renowned improvisors of the last decade, uses his sax as a wind, pad and spit amplifier rather than a single-toned instrument. Together, it's hard to tell where one begins and the other leaves off. Equation is editied into two suites. The results sound like a greatest hits (greatest bits?) compilation, but each suite is coherent."
—David Dacks, Exclaim
"Working with a pair of like-minded partners on 'Equation', Butcher adds to his palette a few jazzy characteristics - notes, phrases, fractured rhythms - that jostle or blend with the sonic debris offered by Mike Hansen on turntables and subtle percussionist Tomasz Krakowiak. Woven into two multi-movement suites ('Noise Temperature Suite' and the slightly more aggressive 'Standing Wave Suite'), their trio music has a looser if disjointed flow, featuring jagged edges, spontaneity, and surprise, as well as a broader variety of types of sound, especially the briefly recognizable, distorted, quick-cut LP quotes from Hansen's turntables - operatic voices, other instruments (was that a sped-up sample of 'In-a-Gadda-da-Vida'?), and vinyl surface noise. All of which serve to, in Cage's words, 'thicken the plot.' "
—Art Lange, E-Pulse
"A fine sustained exemplar of this fragile improvisational form. Because of the skill, sensitivity and concentration of the players, this works.'"
—Chris Cutler, ReR
"In May 2002, John Butcher was in Canada for a short tour, appearing with the quartet Polwechsel at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, in particular. He also visited Toronto for a concert at the Music Gallery in an ad hoc trio with turntablist Mike Hansen and percussionist Tomasz Krakowiak. Both are considerably less-known than the English saxophonist; it would have been easy, even tempting to let him run the show. Instead, the trio turns out to be very egalitarian -- add to that unusual and exciting. Among legions of experimental turntablists looking for sounds from the record player itself, Hansen appears almost anachronistic. His style is refreshing, since it doesn't rule out referencing, yet it remains cutting-edge, abstract, and perplexing. One could compare him to Martin Tétreault in his early Ambiances Magnétiques years (think Des Pas et des Mois or Bruire's L'Âme de l'Objet). Krakowiak is a textural player, a rubber and a scratcher more than hitter. Two-thirds of the time, his contribution remains unnoticed as it blends with the surface noise stutters of the vinyl and the breathing, key clicking, and needlepoint blowing of Butcher. The latter explores in this session his most intriguing self-developed techniques, his controlled feedback playing being the most unusual. Hansen tends to occupy a bit too much space in "Noise Temperature Suite," but "Standing Wave Suite" sees the three players locking into a riveting conversation. "
—Francois Couture, All Music Guide