This is a sad note, but a note that creates a purpose of resolve by the Sugar crew to continue the extremely high standard left by Butch Morris and Pete Cosey; in paying tribute we list their N.Y. Times obits with phrases noting this recording.
Have a Blessed Rest Butch!!! Have a Blessed Rest Pete!!!!
"Mr. Morris occasionally used written music or texts, by himself or others — he did this with the saxophonist David Murray’s big band and octet in the early 1990s, and in more recent years with the group Burnt Sugar, an ensemble influenced by his methods, for which he conducted a version of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” — but most often he used no written material at all."
"In later years Mr. Cosey appeared on Herbie Hancock’s 1983 album, “Future Shock”; briefly played in the band Power Tools with the drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and the bassist Melvin Gibbs; formed a band in 2001 called Children of Agharta with other members of the mid-’70s Davis group; and performed in the band Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber on the album “The Rites,” an improvised version of Stravinsky’ “Rites of Spring” conducted by Butch Morris."
Critical response to The Rites:
Christian Marclay 's Top Ten in Music from Art Forum's Best of 2003 December issue:
2. Butch Morris and Burnt Sugar, the Rites conductions's Inspired by Stravinsky's le Sacre Du Printemps (TruGROID/Avantgroid)
"Greg Tate's band under Butch Morris's baton. Seeing the maestro in a live "conduction" is like being in his brain - his thought process at once visible and audible."
Tom Bojko from The Japan Times, "Of course an electic lineup such as this requires strong direction and, this time around, the whip comes from guest conductor Butch Morris. His style of conducting is not to lead a group through a written score, but to react to the ongoing group improvisation and pulls what he feels are the right sounds and elements out of the musicians. His touch ranges from gentle string interludes that organically meld into fractured ambient washes to deep bass grooves and long guitar lines that produce soaring, sustained aches or disturbing subterranean agitations. The music is generally abstract, but there is an element of excitement as its form grows and the pieces sprout new limbs. "The Rites" is Burnt Sugar's fifth album since forming in 1999 and ther are several more on the way. Collect 'em all, kids."
Colin Buttimer of the BBC on the Internet says," Sky Porch arrives in an already altered state. Skipping at speed/suspended in the air. Racing along/all still. Then the tempo gallops forward - that must be Pete Cosey playing a warped Jack Johnson riff. Returned after all these too, too long years. Things get really ripped apart, things get seismic in a trippy, queasy way. After 17 minutes of this, you've got to feel drenched, renched, reconfigured. They finally come to a rest, but you greedily want it to continue."
"As with their live appearance in London recently, there's a leviathan-like sense of a large mass gathering momentum. A sweating, straining, feeling alternative to the non-corporeal floodtide of electronica, Greg Tate's groove-based, improvising, conductioned, yelling, tender, big (massive) band make an unassailable argument for the organic, the electric. Burnt Sugar are a mobile unit, heavy but limber as a panther - seemingly able to tackle any subject at will. The last hundred years is a smorgasbord for this groups delectation; join the feast."
And finally, in Butch Morris's own words,"This was definitely not a man bound to one groove. He understood how to establish order in music, and he understood the indespensable requirement of construction. (We bonded at this level.) Would he of liked this....? Who knows. He also knew how to realize the present! The bond continues!"