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Rutherford, Paul

The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie

Rutherford, Paul: The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie (Emanem)

A reissue of Emanem 3305 (3403) with extra material from the same sessions from free improvising trombonist Paul Rutherford recorded in 1974, presenting a then-rare example of the instrument and approaches that were avant, humorous, technical, and amazingly inventive.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243401925

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4019
Squidco Product Code: 18399

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1997
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
"All analogue concert recordings made in London at the Unity Theatre 1-2: 1974 July 2 3-5: 1974 August 20 6-7: 1974 December 17


Paul Rutherford-trombone

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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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track listing:

1. Noita Neila 4:28

2. Elaquest 11:23

3. Lonescariso 5:29

4. Esuni Setag 9:02

5. The Funny Side Of Discreet 6:22

6. Osirac Senol 14:53

7. Er Player Blues Now 3:23
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"When The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie was first released in 1976, solo trombone albums were very few, let alone free improv ones! If you happened to hear it, you were immediately struck by Paul Rutherford's originality and virtuosity. The album passed the test of time: it is as exciting today, now that the instrument has a few more adepts, such as Konrad Bauer, Sebi Tramontana, and Tom Walsh to name only a few. This album features one man, one trombone and a few mutes. There are no electronics involved.

What makes it so impressive is the fact that Rutherford never falls into the pit of extended techniques demonstration. These short-to-medium-length improvs show a huge level of integration of these techniques -- there are not "tricks" anymore, but a way of life. The trombonist follows his own agenda, constantly choosing the direction the listener didn't think of, slipping from one approach to the next, adding colors and even a bit of humor, something inevitable with an instrument that has a reputation to be funny. On "The Funny Side of Discreet" Rutherford plays around with mutes, extending the vocabulary of circus jokes, so to speak. Yet, on "Osirac Senol" he gets mournful, verging on the sublime, before building up to an explosion.

Any trombone student should hear this: the speed, precision, rollercoaster-like inventiveness, ability to touch, surprise, or even shock. It's all in here, feeling so natural you wonder how anyone could play differently. The original LP culled material from three separate concerts all recorded in 1974. The CD reissue adds an extra track from the same sessions. For free improv fans, this one is a must-have; for trombonists, it ranks as a classic.'-Francois Couture

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Free Improvisation
Recordings featuring brass instruments - trumpets, trombones, tubas, other horns
Solo Artist Recordings
EMANEM & psi

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