American musician Butch Morris has died from cancer aged 65. Morris was best known for a method he developed (and trademarked) called Conduction: conducted improvisation, which he began implementing in the mid-1980s.
Morris was originally a cornetist who played with Frank Lowe and Don Moye among others in California before moving to New York, becoming involved in a number of improvising groups in the loft scene around the Knitting Factory and the Kitchen, before moving to Paris for a year.
Conduction involved a series of baton and hand gestures to direct ensembles, which included putting his finger to his forehead to indicate a phrase that should be remembered for later, or making a U shape with his hand to indicate a direction to repeat.
A memorial service for Morris will be held at New York Angel Orensanz Foundation on 7 February at 7pm. More details on the memorial here.