PAUL RUTHERFORD (trombone), PHILIPP WACHSMANN (violin & electronics), and BARRY GUY (double bass & electronics). Two concerts in south London pubs - examples of free group improvisation at its very best, which just go to show that there was no musical reason for the hitherto gap in the documentation of this superb trio. 151 minutes - previously unissued.
"Paul Rutherford's trio Iskra 1903 existed in two different editions. Thanks largely to the efforts of Emanem (with a contribution from Guy's own Maya label), both editions have been well represented on disc, excellent news given the importance of the group in the development of improvised music and the uniformly high quality of their music. In typical fashion, the sound of Rutherford's trombone constantly commands attention, as he sings songs full of drama, emotion and pathos through it. The gentleness and lightness of his playing makes the music defy gravity and belies the stereotypical reputation of his instrument. Suffice to say that when he and Wachsmann trade phrases it feels as if the trombone and violin were made to be played together – the most natural pairing imaginable. This is most evident in passages where they are at their most restrained and poignant.
Similarly, the three players make the combination of trombone, violin and bass (plus understated electronics) seem entirely logical, and the absence of drums an irrelevance; their music has its own irrefutable logic and pulse, dictated by nothing but the three of them, their interactions and reactions to one another. The quality of their music never wavers, so they maintain an impressively high standard throughout. Altogether, this is two and a half hours of the best improv available. Stunning."