Paul Rutherford

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Iskra 1903 (1972), 5.5/10
Sequences (1974), 5.5/10
The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie (1974), 7/10
Solo in Berlin (1975), 5/10
Old Moers Almanac (1976), 6/10
Neumph (1978), 6/10
One for Two and Two Twos (1978), 5.5/10
Premonitions (1989), 5.5/10
South of the Northern (1989), 5/10
Frankfurt (1991), 5.5/10
Iskra/Nckpa 1903), (1992), 5/10
Memories to the Future (1992), 5/10
The Conscience (1999), 5.5/10
Buzz Soundtrack (2002), 5/10
Chicago (2002), 5/10
Iskra3 (2004), 6/10
Are We In Diego? (2004), 5.5/10
The Zone (2006), 5/10
Goldsmiths (2010), 5/10
Chapter One (2015), 6/10
In Backwards Times (2017), 6.5/10

British trombonist Paul Rutherford (1940), an alumnus of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (1966), of Mike Westbrook's orchestra (1967) of the Globe Unity Orchestra (1970) and of Iskra 1903 (1970), and of pretty much every major ensemble of British improvised music, kept refining and expanding the language of his instrument until the solo The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie (december 1974) demonstrated what it could do by itself. Rutherford's trombone record used the simplest of means to produce complex, extroverted and humorous music. Given his charisma, Rutherford recorded very little as a leader. The live Old Moers Almanac (june 1976) and Neuph (january 1978), that alternates trombone and euphonium and adds overdubs, closed his solo discography of the heydays of improvised music.

One For Two And Two Twos (august 1978) documents a quartet with John Stevens (drum set & voice), Paul Rutherford (trombone & euphonium), Evan Parker (soprano & tenor saxes) and Barry Guy (double bass & electronics).

Derek Bailey (guitar), Barry Guy (double bass) and Paul Rutherford (trombone) formed Iskra 1903 in 1970. The double-LP Iskra 1903 (may 1972) collected improvisations of the first two years. Sequences collected improvisations of 1972 and 1974. Other live performances of Iskra 1903 were released on Buzz Soundtrack (2002), Goldsmiths (2010), and especially the triple-disc Chapter One 1970-1972 (2015).

Rutherford composed the 12-minute Phone in for Orchestra & Mobile Phones (2002) for the London Improvisers Orchestra.

Other solo improvisations would surface in 2007 on the posthumous Solo in Berlin 1975 (november 1975).

Rutherford, saxophonist Harrison Smith, cellist Tony Moore and drummer Eddie Prevost formed the Free Jazz Quartet and recorded Premonitions (july 1989), that was followed by Memories For The Future (1992).

Morphed into an electric trio with violinist Phil Wachsmann and bassist Barry Guy, Iskra resurfaced on Frankfurt 1991 (october 1991) and Iskra/Nckpa 1903 (october 1992). Iskra3 (september 2004) had Lawrence Casserley and Robert Jarvis electronically manipulating Rutherford's solos.

Chicago 2002 (april 2002) documented a live performance by Rutherford, trombonist Jeb Bishop, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, tenor saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, bassist Kent Kessler, and percussionist Kjell Nordeson.

The Zone (january 2006) features contrabassist Torsten Muller and drummer Harris Eisenstadt.

The double-disc South On The Northern documents live performances by Iskra 1903 from november 1988 and april 1989.

The Conscience (october 1999) documents live duets with drummer Sabu Toyozumi.

In Backward Times (Emanem, 2017) collects four live performances: the 22-minute Duet For One (november 1979), with bassist Barry Guy; the 25-minute Duet For Two (august 1988) with bassist Paul Rogers; the 18-minute Solo For One (october 2004); and the 10-minute Trio Finale (may 2007) with Veryan Weston (piano) and Marcio Mattos (cello and electronics).

Are We in Diego? (december 2004) documents a live performance with Ken Vandermark on reeds, Torsten Muller on contrabass and Dylan Van Der Schyff on drums.

Paul Rutherford died in 2007.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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