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Harold Rubin

Born: Friday 13th May 1932 7.00 am--Breach birth. Sickly child, protected by his mother. Started questioning the wisdom of God at the age of 5 after an incident with his black nanny and convicts working on the road on his way to nursery school. Decided to do something about his frail form at the age of 8 and started to play soccer and to swim.

At the age of 14, became fascinated with the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Barney Bigard and Benny Goodman also Leadbelly and the blues. Started studying clarinet at 16 with Louis Nicholaeff who was a pupil of composition and theory with Rimsky Korsakoff at the Leningrad Conservatory. To the disappointment of his teacher he started to play jazz with high school friends, but still went on playing duets with Nicholaeff.

At the age of 18 played once a week with Dulcie Ryder's group at the Skyline Night Club. At that time Jazz hadn't hit the concert halls and Jazz musicians played for dancers.

He started writing his own music in the fifties and formed his own quartet. Young people followed groups that they could jive and jitterbug to and the quartet had a large following. He speaks about musicians wanting to be regarded as legitimate artists and they started the move into concert halls--sex went out of the jazz experience--no dancing in concert halls - a kind of sterilization. He performed in a concert hall at the first Jazz Festival in Johannesburg. Met the pianist Dave Lee who liked his playing and took him under his wing, which was a great learning experience for Harold. Dave originally from England went back and played with Johnny Dankworth and later with Judy Garland.

Rubin became familiar with the music of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh which he found stimulating and of course Parker and Gillespie, Monk and later Coltrane, but he never played Bebop although he learned from it. He loved Tony Scott and Eric Dolphy. His quartet included Tony Leveton(piano) Sid Lyndsey(bass) Allan Heyes(drums). They sneaked into the black ghetto Sophiatown and made music with saxophonist Kippy Moeketsi and trombonist Jonas Gwongwa at the Odin Cinema on Sundays. Kippy and Harold became friends, listened to music and played together - each learning from the other.

Studied Architecture at "Wits" University, married in 1957 to Riva Wainer, had 2 sons Adam and Ezra.

After a blasphemy trial related to one of his art works "My Jesus", he was acquitted and left South Africa for Israel in March 1963. He felt impotent in the Apartheid regime.

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Album Review

Harold Rubin/Maya Dunietz/Yoni Silver: A Mono Musical Suite For Three Manic Musicians

Read "A Mono Musical Suite For Three Manic Musicians" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Maya Dunietz is one of the most gifted and resourceful musicians on the Israeli alternative music scene. She plays with local alternative bands including HaBiluim and Midnight Peacocks, takes part in John Zorn's Cobra musical game, leads the avant Givo'l choir, jams in New York with such forward-thinking musicians as trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, harpist Zeena Parkins and guitarist Mary Halverson and, in Europe, with Na Maquina Quartet, featuring drummer Steve Noble and bassist Marcio Mattos. A Mono Musical Suite ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson





Kadima Collective



Jazzis Records



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