Butcher Brown makes “solar music,” forward-thinking and expansive hybrids of jazz and hip-hop infused with elements of funk, soul, rock, and every other sound under the sun. Their southern-leaning, sometimes psychedelic fusion has made them jazz festival mainstays who could just as easily headline shows with the biggest names in rap and rock. In addition to touring with jazz giant Kamasi Washington and rocking sold-out European shows, they delivered a catalog-spanning NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2021, every improvisational leap therein stemming from the synergy, vision, and inexhaustible musical curiosity of Butcher Brown’s five members: drummer Corey Fonville, producer/multi-instrumentalist DJ Harrison; bassist/composer Andrew Randazzo; trumpeter/saxophonist/MC Marcus “Tennishu” Tenney; and guitarist Morgan Burrs.
The band formed during the early 2010s in Richmond. Between classes at VCU’s jazz program and performances at local clubs, all congregated at Harrison’s home studio: Jellowstone. Here they recorded their 2014 debut album, All Purpose Music, a 76-minute, genre-hopping jazz odyssey that laid the foundation for a beat tape (Grown Folk, 2015), southern-inflected soul and rock excursions (The Healer, 2015 and Virginia Noir, 2016), a raucous live album (Live at Vagabond, 2017), jazz-funk fusion (Camden Session, 2018), and an Afrobeat tribute (Afrokuti, 2018). Butcher Brown turned a corner with their Concord Jazz debut, 2020’s #KingButch, blurring the lines between soul-jazz and boom-bap as Tennishu established himself as an incredible MC. The band’s latest album, Butcher Brown Presents Triple Trey featuring Tennishu and R4ND4ZZO BIGB4ND, deconstructs big band jazz and reshapes it in their eclectic image. Their latest iteration of solar music is another brilliant blend of contemporary genre-smashing injected into the past.