RED trio + John Butcher

RED trio made a stunning debut in 2010. In this second album they play with British music veteran John Butcher pushing musical boundaries to the new realms of gripping and exciting kingdom of free improvisation.


John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxophone)
Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano)
Hernâni Faustino (doublebass)
Gabriel Ferrandini (drums and percussion)


Recorded April 6, 2010 at Namouche Studio Lisbon by Joaquim Monte
Mixed by John Butcher
Mastered by Arыnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by RED trio and John Butcher
Executive production by Danas Mikailionis and Valerij Anosov

Release date
Jan. 1, 2011
NoBusiness Records - NBLP37
Disc format


At the keyboard, Rodrigo Pinheiro accentuates the percussive characteristics of his instrument, avoiding tonal hegemony, often delving around the innards to dampen the resonance. While he sounds most conventional when the reedman isn't playing, even then his ringing arpeggios are likely to end unexpectedly in reiterated Morse code on muted string [...] Wonderful music which shatters preconceptions.

Meanwhile Pinheiro, for one, spurs minimalism, instead studding his solos with swift soundboard echoes, internal string strumming and high-intensity chording.[...] Likely to be a unique entry in both Butcher’s and the Red trio’s discographies, Empire is a wild ride that should be experienced by everyone.

Powerfull, gripping, thrilling, dark and seductive in its own intense way. The playing is fabulous, vigorous, wild, uninhibited. The interplay and the sense of direction is palpable. Abstact and dark, this music engages you completely. A brilliant effort by and for fearless minds.

Pinheiro matches Butcher for energy and variety, the two complementing each other well as they engage in a dialogue.

The Red Trio (and John Butcher) outdo themselves on this one. Immerse yourself in it and you will come away with a big smile on your face! Highly recommended.

Pinheiro takes a strong unaccompanied piano solo with bass and drums building back in before Butcher caps an extraordinary performance with a mix of high-pitched bird like saxophone and lower toned blasts of air.

I focused possibly too much on Butcher's presence, and he's without a doubt the most dominant voice on the album, yet the music is of course the RED trio's collective achievement, and they stay close to the musical vision they created with their first album, dark, inventive and intense, with Butcher offering depth, contrast and adding to the already gloomy atmosphere.