Iskra 1903

Frankfurt 1991

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Frankfurt 1991 is only the second release documenting the second incarnation of Iskra 1903, Paul Rutherford's favorite trio setting from 1977 to 1995. The lineup of Rutherford (trombone), Philipp Wachsmann (violin and electronics), and Barry Guy (double bass) also have a live performance out on Maya Records. The original trio (minus Wachsmann, plus Derek Bailey) has left a couple of LPs on Incus for posterity (reissued with lots of unreleased material as Chapter One: 1970-1972). This CD presents almost all of the concert the trio performed in Frankfurt on October 1, 1991 -- almost, because the tape ran out before the end of the last piece. First comes a very solid long improv, 33 minutes of complex interaction with many highlights, including a beautiful, concise, and humble ending. The second part of the concert opened with a shorter trio, also nice although not as strong as the first one, followed by three solos. "Wachsmann am Main" is an occasion to study more closely the violinist's use of electronics. His delays and effects are not the least intrusive and show maybe one of the best uses of technology to expand one instrument's possibilities without changing its nature altogether. The other two solos are up to standard. The aptly titled "To the End of the Tape" runs around aimlessly during the first couple of minutes. After seven minutes the strings retreat to leave the trombone on the front line. The track stops elegantly (considering the circumstances) at the end of a descending phrase.

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