Iskra 1903

Chapter One: 1970-1972

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What a feast! A three-CD set (totaling more than 190 minutes) compiled from six concerts featuring three of the leading British free-jazz improvisers of the 20th century: trombonist Paul Rutherford, guitarist Derek Bailey, and bassist Barry Guy. Fulfilling expectations in nearly every way, the 21 tracks offer some of the best free music ever recorded. What makes this so special is the opportunity to see the music unfold. No two tracks are the same, as Rutherford, Bailey, and Guy play each piece with the revolutionary fervor of a new discovery. Nearly every minute sounds fresh and exciting. Rutherford surprises with his fascinating performance on piano (on three of the longer cuts) and with his magnificently structured muted trombone nuggets, while Bailey is characteristically abstract and Guy is virtuosic. As a unit, they mesh perfectly. The final track (12 minutes in length) has somewhat reduced fidelity, but otherwise the sound is surprisingly good. About half of the recording was released earlier on the Incus label (Incus LP 3 and LP 4) while the remainder was not released until this issue (2000).

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