Jim Butler Jim Butler
Jim Butler
Biography [ Japanese Version... ]
Jim Butler
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The Jim Butler quartet
“The Jim Butler quartet with Swinky had a full house at Roppongi’s Keystone Club…His enthusiastic, well-wishing jazz fans packed the place. Kicking off with the up-tempo “Bangkok at Night,” from his CD “Postcards from the World,” the quartet got right to work. Coming of their most recent tour, the last-minute substitute of Miura on bass only upped the energy level. The quartet was right into the songs with polished solos and tight interplay. The fans got just what they came for—great music.

Butler’s sax has a simplicity to it that belies its complexity and directed energy. He plays sax that sounds natural and right,but engages at all kinds of levels. Whether it’s dancing notes across the funky version of “Afro Blue” or dropping notes like raindrops on “So Many Stars,” he always plays with the right tone, feel and connection.”
– Michael Pronko, “Jazz in Japan (September 2018)

Jim Butler, a native Californian, has been playing the saxophone for over 40 years. He plays all styles but focuses on modern and original jazz. For twenty years Jim has led the Jim Butler Jazz Group on tours in United States and Asia. They have recorded 4 CDs: Journeys (2003); Live in Tokyo! (2005); Night of a Thousand Years (2009); and Postcards from the World (2014). Their fifth CD will be released in June 2019.

Jim started out as a music educator, directing a jazz ensemble and teaching saxophone, woodwinds, and Jazz Studies at The University of North Florida. He has a Doctorate in Music from the University of Texas at Austin.  During this time he appeared professionally as a saxophonist with many different artists including Mel Torme, Crystal Gail, The Drifters, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Campesi, and Sam Moore. He has also performed with the Bob Meyer Concept Jazz Orchestra, The Gerry Gibbs Quartet, and as a featured soloist with the Blue Note Jazz Orchestra of Hamamatsu, Japan.

A former student of Harvey Pittel, Jim was Lead Alto Saxophonist for the United States Air Force Field Bands for 23 years until his retirement in 2018. In the Air Force Band, he toured to North and South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Bob Mintzer, Ed Shaughnessy, Jim McNeely, Toni Tennille, and other notables in the music industry. As Director of the Air Force Commanders Jazz Ensemble, he led the group in tours of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Idaho, and to the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Jim currently lives both in Tokyo and remains very active as a musician and band leader. Catch the group at their next show! You can see more information here on this homepage, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jim.butler.9 (personal page) or https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Butler-Jazz-Group-179655095378318/ (band page).

What they are saying about Postcards from the World:

Jim Butler Group

Postcards From The World…A formidable 4tet functioning with a unified lyrical sense of purpose embraces Butler's vision while each has their own room to engage in the melodic conversation put forth on this inspired and inspiring release…Butler is as technically proficient as he is artistically gifted, strong tone and a solid technique yet with the ability to shift dynamics on the fly have his game on par with some of his major label contemporaries. Covers are few but incredibly noteworthy and solid…Butler takes the title of legit jazz triple threat one step further as instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer. One of the top Independent releases for 2014. Stellar!” - Brent Black, www.Criticaljazz.com , April 28, 2014

Jim Butler’s new CD, Postcards from the World, should have a label attached: warning contents are hot. Butler’s fiery alto takes the listener on a tour of his own compositions and a couple of standards for good measure. Blistering tempos that always swing make this a must for any collection.” –Bill Moody, jazz drummer, author of The Man in Red Square, and host of “Stolen Moments in Jazz” on KSBY FM 91.3 San Francisco - April 17, 2014

"Postcards from the World" by the Jim Butler Group is an exciting new collection of works and performances that sound both fresh and clearly are the reflection of a man who respects the rich history of jazz composition and high octane saxophone performance. Wickedly inventive and passionate music." -Dr Todd Oxford, Professor of Saxophone, Southwest Texas State University, April 11, 2014

The musical journey from the Postcards starts off from the "Road to Mombasa," a modern fiery burner inspired by a searing memory traveling on the most dangerous road between Nairobi and Mombasa. Unfortunately, the music is too good here and will only serve to heighten those thoughts if Butler had ever sought to erase them. The classic standard "Invitation" provides one of the many highlights found on the album, with an expansive arrangement that features some of the altoist’s best inviting solos of the disc. Yet, when you think you've heard the best of the lot, there's the driving "Eastern Samba" featuring more from the leader as well as excellent solos from the pianist and support from Gentry on the brushes. Made into a classic by the great Dizzy Gillespie "Tin Tin Deo" takes on new form here as Butler's arrangement develops the exotic elements of the tune into a straight number without detouring too much from its classic base. "Sunrise in Stockholm" and "Afternoon Falling on Nairobi" are as different as the titles indicate; one is up lifting and cheery while the other is comprised of a calmer texture. Now for the swing side of the spectrum, "Bangkok at Night" says it all as Butler and band mates let it all hang out on this one.

Adding a bit of post-bop to the repertoire, the "California Song" reminds Butler that Frisco is home yet, winding down the music, the band plays the last original and nod to journeys abroad with the very swinging "Kandahar" featuring plenty more of the leader's saxophone savvy. Hoagy Carmichae
l’s "Star Dust" closes the program on the very memorable Postcards from the World which, documents a compelling performance from saxophonist Jim Butler and crew, on one attention-grabbing session worth repeated spins, nicely done! – Edward Blanco, www.AllAboutJazz.com, May 18, 2014

What they said previously:

"Night of 1000 Years": Some very good music lead by saxophonist Jim Butler with a wonderful rhythm section that shows a wonderful sense of lyricism – David Liebman, May 23, 2009

Jim Butler…a wonderful altoist…keep swingin!” – Donald Baily (Blue Note recording artist)

After a San Francisco concert a fan wrote: If you love jazz, this is the REAL DEAL...it is AWESOME music…www.yelp.com/biz/savanna-jazz, San Francisco, June 14, 2008

The CD "Live in Tokyo! “…Dream of World Peace” steals the show. This majestic ode...slowly builds to a cascading crescendo that has the whole foursome going for broke and reaching for the heavens… Frank Spignese, The Tokyo Advocate, December 2006

About Jim’s first CD, “Journeys”: “Jim Butler is a man that can, and will, play everything from all-out jazz to pure rock n’ roll… Butler is talented enough, and seasoned enough, to create music that challenges without losing sight of structure that swing”-- Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News, March 7, 2003

“…nice sound and good creative ideas. Congrats!! Keep going !! … I really liked the CD (Journeys)…”

Mark Vinci, New York saxophonist and recording artist, January 15, 2005

Un vrai voyage, de la douceur à l'exaltation, de la légèreté à la mélancholie . Délicieux moments jazz, rock...les paysages changent et nous emportent .” Michele Jeulin, Grasse, France, Sept. 18, 2004

Jim Butler Group

Biography - Japanese Version

私 が生まれたのは、カリフォルニア州サンディエゴです。テキサス州のオースティンで学生時代を過ごしましたが、この時期にさまざまなバンドに加わり、ジャズ やブルースからロックンロールに至るまで、あらゆるジャンルの音楽を演奏しました。また、一時的に大学で音楽を教えていたこともあります。大学では音楽を 専攻していたのですが、デイヴ・リーブマンのジャズ・マスター・クラスに2回ほど参加し、強い刺激を受けました。私はアメリカにとどまらず、広く世界に熱 い関心を抱いています。これまで北米・南米、ヨーロッパ、アジア、中近東、アフリカなど、さまざまな国を訪れてきました。そして、すばらしい体験を重ねま した。

2002年、テキサスで初のリーダー・アルバムを録音しました。『Journeys(ジャー ニーズ)』と名付けたそのアルバムでは、ドラムスにジェリー・トラッシャー・ギブズ、6弦ベースにジム・カルソン、キーボードとピアノにアンディ・ラ ングマンと共演しています。さらにトランペッターのニック・クーパー、ドラマーのアンジェロ・ストロークスもフィーチャーしています。このころ私が演奏し ていた多彩なジャンルの音楽が収録されています。


「ジ ム・バトラーは、本物のジャズから本格的ロックンロールまで、どんな音楽でも演奏することができ、またそんな演奏を物ともせずにしてしまう男である。同じ 曲でも、静けさから激しさへと変幻自在に曲調が変化するが、決して全体のまとまりを欠くことがない。バトラーは才能に恵まれ、なおかつ経験豊かなミュージ シャンである。だからこそ、よくスイングする音楽的構成を見失うことなく、チャレンジングな音楽を生み出すことができるのだ」(ジム・ビール)

2003年、私は東京で暮らすようになりました。ここで製作した2枚目のリーダー・アルバム『Live in Tokyo(ライヴ・イン・トーキョー)』は、赤坂のライヴハウス『B-Flat』で録音し、2006年初頭にリリースされました。


Live in Tokyo(ライヴ・イン・トーキョー)』のCD評〜2006年12月

「このアルバムには風変わりでエキゾチックな雰囲気が満ちている。特に、自作曲Dream of World Peace”が圧巻だ。この理想主義的なテーマを掲げた堂々たる曲はゆっくりと勢いのあるクレッシェンドへと高まり、4人全員が一丸となって天空へと飛翔するかのようだ」(フランク・スパイグニーズ)

2007 年には東京での生活に終止符を打ち、カリフォルニア州サンフランシスコ郊外に落ち着きました。今はツアーで出かけていないときは、サンフランシスコを中心 に定期的に演奏しています。サンフランシスコにおいでの折にお暇がありましたら、ぜひ私のバンドを演奏を聴きにいらしてください!