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Rutherford, Paul: Tetralogy 2CD (Emanem)

Four situations with the late, inventive tromobonist Rutherford, with electronics solo, in trio and in a quartet; remarkable and unusual improvisation from one of the greats.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243520220

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 5202
Squidco Product Code: 12212

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve 3 panels
CD 1 Tracks 1-3 analog concert recording made in London (ICA) by Jean-Marc Foussat on August 20, 1981. Tracks 4-6 analog concert recordings made in London (ICA) by Jean-Marc Foussat (& Riccardo Bergerone) on August 23, 1981. CD 2 Tracks 1-3 analog concert recording made in Pisa (Giardino Scotto open-air theatre) by Riccardo Bergerone no July 13, 1978. Tracks 4-6 analog studio recordings made in London on June 16, 1982.


Paul Rutherford-trombone, euphonium, electronics, voice, tambourine

George Lewis-trombone

Martin Mayes-French horn

Paul Rogers-doublebass

Nigel Morris-drum set

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track listing:

CD 1:

1. Elesol A 18:00

2. Elesol B 8:21

3. Elesol C 6:49

4. Braqua 1A 23:47

5. Braqua 1B 6:42

6. Braqua 2 12:48

CD 2:

1. The Great Leaning 1A 11:30

2. The Great Leaning 1B 15:26

3. The Great Leaning 2 11:09

4. One First 1 8:14

5. One First 2 6:13

6. One First 3 11:49
Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Electro-Acoustic Improv
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Free Improvisation
Quintet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Paul Rutherford (1940-2007) was surely the most original and inventive (and enjoyable) trombonist of the last 40 years, and also one of the greatest exponents of free improvisation. It is therefore appropriate and desirable that recordings of his excellent music, like the four in this collection, are made available to the public.

The two sets on the first CD were recorded at the ACTUAL-81 festival in London organised by Anthony Wood. The solo set is unusual in that a considerable amount of electronics were used to enhance the trombone or euphonium. The additions include a voice-mike (with added tremolo), a bespoke box made by Ian Mackintosh, and probably standard items such as ring modulators and octave dividers. These were all controlled by the soloist, and used in various ways: to provide an apparently random counterpoint, to produce a varied response to the brass instrument and to distort and modify the sounds of the horn.

Rutherford’s voice has been an integral part of his playing ever since he independently started producing multi-phonics some 40 to 50 years ago – here the use of a voice-mike emphasises his voice more than usual. His interest in using electronics arose when working with his trio Iskra 1903 in which the other two (string) players always used them.

Three days later, Rutherford convened an improvising brass quartet with fellow trombonist George Lewis, Martin Mayes (French horn) and Melvyn Poore (tuba). They performed two pieces (the first is marked as two tracks). There are wonderful solo moments and duo interactions, but perhaps the highlights are the ensemble sections which are fine examples of spontaneous arrangements.

My original plan was to issue these two items on a single CD; but it occurred to me that any listener not otherwise familiar with Rutherford’s work would get a strange introduction, as these two are very different to anything else of his on record. So I thought that a second CD of his more typical work from the same period would be appropriate.

Riccardo Bergerone recently came up with the Pisa Jazz Festival solo tape, which presents Rutherford without any electronics. Even with just his trombone or euphonium (augmented by his voice) he comes up with a remarkable range of sounds, and unique lines involving wild leaps. The performance of two pieces (again, the first is marked as two tracks) is almost complete.

The final section is something by the working trio that Rutherford set up to contrast with his other trio (Iskra 1903). It features brilliant work by two (then) young musicians as well as the leader. He wanted me to issue this at the same time as the material they recorded the following year, but there wasn’t enough room on GHEIM – Emanem 4107. The format of this session is slightly different, in that each piece begins with a short solo. Rutherford uses his euphonium on his feature – it would appear that he also uses it on the first section of the ACTUAL-81 solo, and the last of the Pisa solo.

Thanks are due to Jean-Marc Foussat and Riccardo Bergerone for recording the music and making their recordings available, and, above all, to Paul Rutherford for making so much wonderful music."-Martin Davidson, from the liner notes

Artist Biographies:

"Paul William Rutherford (29 February 1940 - 5 August 2007) was an English free improvising trombonist. 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. The formation was documented on a double album from Incus, later reissued with much bonus material on the 3-CD set Chapter One (Emanem, 2000). A film soundtrack was separately released as Buzz Soundtrack. Iskra 1903 was one of the earliest free improvising groups to omit a drummer/percussionist, permitting the players to explore a range of textures and dynamics which set it apart from such other contemporary improvising ensembles as SME and AMM. The group's unusual name is the Russian word for "spark"; it was the title of the Iskra revolutionary newspaper edited by Lenin. The "1903" designation means "20th century music for trio"; occasionally Evan Parker played with the group (Iskra 1904) and Rutherford also at one point assembled a 12-piece ensemble called, inevitably, Iskra 1912. The group was later revived with Philipp Wachsmann replacing Bailey, a phase of the group's life that lasted from roughly 1977 to 1995; its earlier work is documented on Chapter Two (Emanem, 2006) and its final recordings were issued on Maya (Iskra 1903) and Emanem (Frankfurt 1991).

Rutherford also played with Globe Unity Orchestra, London Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Centipede, the Mike Westbrook Orchestra, and the Orckestra, a merger of avant-rock group Henry Cow, the Mike Westbrook Brass Band and folk singer Frankie Armstrong. He also played a very small number of gigs with Soft Machine. He is perhaps most famous for solo trombone improvisations. His album The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie is a landmark recording in solo trombone and his 1983 Trio album Gheim, recorded at the Bracknell Jazz Festival is another acclaimed work.

Rutherford died of cirrhosis of the liver and a ruptured aorta on 5 August 2007, aged 67."

-Wikipedia (

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"George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A 2015 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis has received a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015, Lewis received the degree of Doctor of Music (DMus, honoris causa) from the University of Edinburgh.

A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 140 recordings. His work has been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, Ensemble Erik Satie, Eco Ensemble, and others, with commissions from American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, IRCAM, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. Lewis has served as Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago; and CAC Fitt Artist In Residence, Brown University.

Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society's Music in American Culture Award. Lewis is co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), and his opera Afterword, commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in October 2015 and has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey."

-Columbia University (

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Other Releases With These Artists:
Rutherford, Paul
In Backward Times (1979-2007)
Dean, Elton Quintet
Welcomet - Live in Brazil, 1986
Burke, Rob / George Lewis / Paul Grabowsky / Mark Helias
Rutherford, Paul / Sabu Toyozumi
The Conscience
Rutherford, Paul / Sabu Toyozumi
The Conscience [VINYL]
Braxton, Anthony
Ensemble (Victoriaville) 1988
(Les Disques Victo)
Lazro, Daunik / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis
Enfances 8 Janv. 1984
(Fou Records)
Lewis, George & Splitter Ochester
Creative Construction Set
(Mikroton Recordings)
Braxton, Anthony
Quintet (Basel) 1977
Kowald, Peter Quintet
Peter Kowald Quintet [VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)
Spontaneous Music Orchestra
Search & Reflect (1973-81) [2 CDs]
Braxton, Anthony
Live At The Rainbow Gallery '79
(Hi Hat)
Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Withdrawal (1966/7)[REISSUE]
Lacy, Steve Quintet
Last Tour (2004)
ISKRA 1903 (Rutherford / Bailey / Guy)
Chapter One (1970-2) [3 CDs]
Parker, Evan ElectroAcoustic Septet
(Les Disques Victo)
Rutherford, Paul Trio
Gheim - live at Bracknell 1983
Smith, Wadada Leo / Lewis, George / Zorn, John
Sonic Rivers
Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra & George Lewis
Artificial Life 2007
Rutherford, Paul
Chicago 2002
Parker, Evan / Paul Rutherford / Hans Schneider / Paul Lytton
Waterloo 1985
Rutherford, Paul
The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie
Rutherford, Paul and Paul Rogers
Various Artists
Freedom of the City 2002 - small groups [2 CDs]
Various Artists
Freedom of the City 2001 - small groups [2 CDs]
ISKRA 1903
South on the Northern (1988/9) [2 CDs]
Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Challenge (1966-7)
Stevens / Rutherford / Parker / Guy
One Four and Two Twos (1978/79/92)
ISKRA 1903
Rutherford / Muller / Eisenstadt
The Zone
Zorn / Lewis / Frisell
More News For Lulu
Free Jazz Quartet
Memories For The Future
Leandre, Joelle / Lewis, George
Transatlantic Visions
Spontaneous Music Ensemble & Orchestra
Trio & Triangle
Parker, Evan
Hook, Drift & Shuffle
Iskra 1903
Buzz Soundtrack
Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Frameworks (1968-73)
ISKRA 1903 (Rutherford, Paul / Wachsmann, Philipp / Guy, Barry)
Chapter Two, 1981-1983 [3 CDs]
Various Artists
Freedom of the City Festival 2005 [2 CDs]
Dunmall, Paul Octet
(Clean Feed)
Various Artists
Freedom of the City 2004 - small groups [2 CDs]
Coxhill, Lol / Mueller, Torsten / Rutherford, Paul
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