95

Iskra 1903: Goldsmiths

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Iskra 1903: Goldsmiths The years 2010 and 2011 have already been a bumper period for re-releases of '70s improvised music—notably Emanem's Teatime and Life amid the artefacts—plus unreleased Derek Bailey (on More 74, Concert in Milwaukee and Scrutables). Now, after some delay, comes Goldsmiths, which could well be the pick of the bunch. It consists of a 67-minute live concert recording from London's Goldsmiths College made in March 1972, augmented by two shorter extracts of unknown provenance that are no mere extras, but contain music as vital and stimulating as the main concert.

Originally scheduled for March 2011, the release of Goldsmiths was delayed due to the arrival from the USA of an original tape of the start of the concert rather than the copy tape that was initially used for the CD. The release was delayed in the hope that further original tapes would emerge. That did not happen, but nonetheless the sound of the tapes used is perfectly good, and there is no detectable change in sound quality because of the shift from the original to copy tape.

Formed by trombone legend Paul Rutherford in 1970 and active until 1974, this first version of Iskra 1903, featuring guitarist Bailey and bassist Barry Guy, was one of the more revered improvising groups of the time, a summit meeting of three first-rate players. The absence of drums helped give the music a sense of lightness and freedom. From the start, it is obvious that Rutherford is the leading light, as the trombone is more to the fore, with guitar and bass interweaving with it to create a rich tapestry of sound. The (post hoc?) titling of the Goldsmiths concert pieces with the word "Cohesion" is spot on; the three combine together into one entity. As always, Rutherford's trombone playing is an all-too-human voice, imbued with a wealth of contrasting emotions including tenderness, humor, pathos and mischief.

Ultimately, Goldsmiths leaves an aura of happy sadness: the sadness, caused by the realization of the huge gap left by the deaths of Bailey and Rutherford; the happiness, by the discovery of this wonderful recording as a reminder of that loss. This album captures the trio in peak form and seems likely to become the first-choice recommended recording by the group.


Track Listing: Cohesion 1A; Cohesion 1B; Cohesion 2A; Cohesion 2B; Unknown 1; Unknown 2.

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

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Emanem


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Up North" CD/LP/Track Review Up North
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Close Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Close Enough
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!