The reappearance of these recordings, first made in 1983 and released in 1986, will leave the music aficionado breathless. The originals are analogue recordings, best enjoyed in vinyl—cassettes would have been the next best thing. Despite the fact that it is not possible to judge how truthful the sound is to the originals having been digitised to be accommodated, there is a dead giveaway here. This is the woody sound of Paul Rogers’ bass, the crispness of cymbals and exquisitely defined sound of the drums. The trombone was a wild thing in the hands of the late Paul Rutherford. His wa a primordial, human voice moaning and crying with elemental yowls, moaning growls and guttural smears that seem to come not only from the lips and tongue rattling on gums and palate, but from deep within the throat with great gulps of air from his lungs. However, this sound that was impelled from deep within a cavernous cadaver has a depth and gravitas rare among musicians today. All of this is possible when a musician risked his life for every note and there is a sense that this is what informs the soulful music of Paul Rutherford.
Paul Rogers and Nigel Morris are both astounding players. One lifts the bass from the rear of the bandstand. Mr. Rogers is extremely quick-witted and is possessed of a dazzling intellect. His choice of notes is breathtaking. He is always surprising in terms of the direction in which he goes and never follows the beaten path. Mr. Rogers certainly does not adhere to convention, but is propelled by a radicalism that always holds the attention of the listener, whether he or she agrees with his sonic exploits or not. His is a constant search for something that is both different and enlightening. He is constantly letting the listener on little harmonic secrets and stunning rhythmic exploits that are both spectacular and transcendent. This takes his music beyond the pale; beyond the range of understood virtuosity into music of great virtuosity into a realm of expansion that makes it seemingly almost unplayable.
Nigel Morris is quick to catch up with both Mr. Rutherford as well as Mr. Rogers. Perhaps it is more appropriate to suggest that he is there when they get to those places in the music that are seemingly impossible to get to. Mr. Morris plays melodically always sure of the pulse of the piece. His playing is simple; in fact he unravels the complexities of the music and makes all of it sound poised and unfaltering. Mr. Morris’ rhythmic poise makes for the unalterable sense of steadfastness to the unfettered meters that rock this music throughout. He has boundless energy; even a sense of playfulness that makes all of the grave rumbling of the drums a lot of child’s play. Thank God for players like him and Paul Rogers. Together they make for all that is refreshing about sonic excursions that can sometimes be difficult to access philosophically and musically as well.
Track List: GHEIM 1; GHEIM 2; BRANDAK; CRONTAK; PRINDALF
Personnel: Paul Rutherford: trombone (1 – 4), euphonium (5); Paul Rogers: bass; Nigel Morris: drum set
Label: EMANEM | Release date: November 2014
About Paul Rutherford
Born in Greenwich, South East London, Rutherford initially played saxophone but switched to trombone. During the 1960s, he taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1970, Rutherford, guitarist Derek Bailey and bassist Barry Guy formed the improvising group Iskra 1903, which lasted until 1973. (This formation was documented on a double-LP from Incus, later reissued with much bonus material on the 3-CD set Chapter One (Emanem, 2000). Read more…