Rutherford's appearance at Chicago's Empty Bottle Festival in 2002, his first visit to the US as a lead performer, performing this incredible 31 minute trombone solo, and then organising a septet with Jeb Bishop, Lol Coxhill, Mats Gustafsson, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler & Kjell Nordeson.
Released in: Great Britain
"Free improv albums rarely come as satisfying as this one. The occasion was special (Paul Rutherford's American appearances are few and far between), the line-up premiere and the menu varied. Recorded on April 26 and 27, 2002, live at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, this CD is a celebration of the trombonist's music and the impact which British improvisers who came of age in the late '60s and early '70s had on a younger American generation.
First up is an unedited 32-minute solo. Rutherford is still in very good shape: inventive, resourceful, and absolutely capable of keeping an improvisation interesting for that long. Perhaps his most seductive feature is the fact that he doesn't mind pausing to catch his breath or change mutes, using silence as a source of expectation.
"Loliloquy" is a structured improvisation in the form of a loose concerto for Lol Coxhill, who accompanied the trombonist for this trip. On the second date, the Englishmen are joined by Jeb Bishop (trombone), Mats Gustafsson (tenor sax), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Kent Kessler (bass), and Kjell Nordeson (drums). A bit weaker than the first date, but only because the improvisers seem to have become accustomed to one another, it serves as a prelude of sorts to "Blue Bottle," a fantastic 20-minute group improvisation which features stunning interplay, a wide exploration of dynamics and colors (including an electrical episode from Lonberg-Holm when he hits the distortion pedal), and an unmatched level of excitement.
It sounds like seven of the finest improvisers trying to inject meaning to the chaos of the universe by contributing more chaos to it, and it's one of the finest pieces released in 2002. Imperfect sound balance results in the two trombonists being squeezed into the same stereo channel, but that's a very minor flaw considering the quality of the music. Highly recommended."-Francois Couture, allmusic.com
• Show Bio for Paul Rutherford
"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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Rutherford_(trombonist))
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• Show Bio for Lol Coxhill
"George Lowen Coxhill (19 September 1932 - 10 July 2012), generally known as Lol Coxhill, was an English free improvising saxophonist and raconteur. He played the soprano or sopranino saxophone. Coxhill was born to George Compton Coxhill and Mabel Margaret Coxhill (née Motton) at Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. He grew up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and bought his first saxophone in 1947. After national service he became a busy semi-professional musician, touring US airbases with Denzil Bailey's Afro-Cubists and the Graham Fleming Combo. In the 1960s he played with visiting American blues, soul and jazz musicians including Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. He also developed his practice of playing unaccompanied solo saxophone, often busking in informal performance situations. Other than his solo playing, he performed mostly as a sideman or as an equal collaborator, rather than a conventional leader - there was no regular Lol Coxhill Trio or Quartet as would normally be expected of a saxophonist. Instead he had many intermittent but long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musicians.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of Canterbury scene bands Carol Grimes and Delivery and then Kevin Ayers and the Whole World. He became known for his solo playing and for work in duets with pianist Steve Miller and guitarist G. F. Fitzgerald. He was thought to have largely inspired Joni Mitchell's song "For Free", while busking solo on the old footbridge which formed part of the Hungerford Bridge between Waterloo and Charing Cross. Coxhill collaborated with other musicians including Mike Oldfield, Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople), Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and its musical descendant The Dedication Orchestra, Django Bates, the Damned, Hugh Metcalfe, Derek Bailey and performance art group Welfare State.
He often worked in small collaborative groups with semi-humorous names such as the Johnny Rondo Duo or Trio (with pianist Dave Holland - not the bassist of the same name), the Melody Four (characteristically a trio, with Tony Coe and Steve Beresford), and The Recedents (with guitarist Mike Cooper and percussionist Roger Turner), known as such because the members were (in Coxhill's words) "all bald", though the name may additionally be a play on the American band the Residents. Typically these bands performed a mix of free improvisation interspersed with ballroom dance tunes and popular songs. There was humour throughout his music but he sometimes felt it necessary to tell audiences that the free playing was not intended as a joke. Coxhill was compere and occasional performer at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, and a raconteur as well as a musician; he often would introduce his music by saying the words, "what I am about to play you may not understand". It was following a performance at Bracknell that he recorded the melodramatic monologue Murder in the Air."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lol_Coxhill)
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• Show Bio for Mats Gustafsson
"Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Solo artist and international tours and projects with a.o. Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Fake (the facts). Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra,FIRE! Orchestra and the NU - ensemble.over 1800 concerts and over 200 record productions in Europe, Australia, Africa, North & South America and Asia.Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater, art, poetry as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.Discaholic - running the discaholic corner website.Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records."-Mats Gustafsson Website (http://matsgus.com/archives/category/bio)
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Catalog ID: 4082
Squidco Product Code: 18435
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, Illinois, on April 26th and 27th, 2002, by Martin Davidson.
Lol Coxhill-soprano saxophone
Mats Gustafsson-tenor saxophone
Fred Lonberg-Holm-cello, electronics
Kent Kessler-double bass
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1. Bottling Up 31:52
2. Loliloquy 14:28
3. Blue Bottle 19:43
4. Bottle Out 11:18