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TUESDAY

Jazz historians often credit tenor giant Coleman Hawkins with the first solo saxophone recording. But for avant-garde types, unaccompanied sax begins with Anthony Braxton’s 1968 double-album For Alto, a brainy set that inspired countless displays of extended technique. London-based saxophonist John Butcher is undoubtedly from the latter camp. Since earning his doctorate in physics in 1982 (something to do with charmed quarks), Butcher has played with the cream of Europe’s free-improv crop: folks such as Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Fred Frith, Derek Bailey, and even the Ex’s big band, Ex Orkestra. Yet, despite his wealth of collaborative opportunities, Butcher clearly relishes the solo setting: Thus far he’s recorded four-and-a-half discs sans accompaniment. On his recorded-in-a-mine latest, the mostly solo Cavern With Nightlife, Butcher continues extending the language of his chosen instrument, chirping, riffing, and wrawling out notes that barely sound like jazz, much less saxophone. Butcher plays at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry’s House of the Temple, 1733 16th St. NW. $10. (202) 232-3579. (Brent Burton)

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