Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

335

Iskra 1903: Chapter One 1970-1972

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Iskra 1903, named after a newspaper founded by Lenin, has had several incarnations. This one, as befits a disc entitled Chapter One, was the first: Paul Rutherford (trombone and piano), Derek Bailey (guitar), and Barry Guy (double bass). The first revelation is that Rutherford plays piano, and that he's a worthwhile improviser on that instrument. The second is that this music, for all its uncompromisingly unpremeditated and atonal character, contains a great deal that beguiles and fascinates.

This massive 3-disc set contains music from a September 2, 1970 concert, a May 3, 1972 recording session, a 1971 session, and three fall 1972 German tour dates. The first disc, containing the 1970 concert, features Rutherford on piano on three tracks only. He is a spacy, searching pianist—in his laconic use of space, he's rather like a Herbie Hancock of free playing. Perhaps because of the nature of the instrument, the piano tends to anchor the music and suggest, at times rather insistently, tonalities that Bailey nonetheless effortlessly avoids—especially in moments on the lengthy "Improvisation 1." When Rutherford switches to trombone, which he plays for the bulk of disc one and for all of discs two and three, he coils lines around Bailey's, sometimes accenting and extending, sometimes cutting off. Guy is his usual percussive self. There is, of course, no narrative flow as such to this music; rather, it progresses by the creation of evanescent soundscapes that vanish almost as quickly as they appear. Many are fascinating, especially on disc two, which is the one to which I found myself returning most often. But to isolate them is to try to catch a snowflake and frame it.

So it is with all of Derek Bailey's music—as well as that of the other two. Certainly Rutherford brings a certain dash to these sessions, whereas some of the guitarist's other partners let matters slip into the cagiest of murmurings. Thus these three discs may be good entry points for those who want to hear what Derek Bailey can do as an improviser, and how he interacts with other masterful free musicians. In any case, this is a superabundance of gripping music that amply rewards close listening.


Personnel: Paul Rutherford: trombone; piano; Derek Bailey: guitar; Barry Guy: bass.

Title: Chapter One 1970-1972 | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Emanem


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor