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  #1  
Old Aug 7, 2007, 03:00 PM
zula zula is offline
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Trombonist Paul Rutherford Passed Away

Yesterday. He was only 67. One of the original architects of British free / improvised music scene. Very sad.



below with Hoxha (l.to r. Dylan van der Schyff, Paul Rutherford,Torsten Müller, Ken Vandermark) - Hoxha photo by Malachi Ritscher

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  #2  
Old Aug 7, 2007, 09:18 PM
Nou Dadoun Nou Dadoun is offline
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Very sad, do you have any other details Cem? ... N
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  #3  
Old Aug 7, 2007, 11:16 PM
zula zula is offline
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It could be a heat attack. He may've been found at home. Here's hoping it's all a bullshit lie.

http://www.organissimo.org/forum/ind...8&st=0&start=0

http://www.bagatellen.com/cgi-bin/mt...?entry_id=1754

http://ihatemusic.noquam.com/viewtopic.php?t=6950

http://speakeasy.jazzcorner.com/spea...ewpost&t=20968

All this info is no proof, obviously. There are no "official" news bits.

When I saw him last a year ago in New York, he did not look in great health. It's sad how isolated older musicians can become, with very few gigs, resources, etc. After hearing him play that beautiful, brilliantly impossible music, you'd expect more of a distant, curmudgeonly sort, but he was the warmest, gentlest, friendliest, most down-to-earth fellow you could imagine meeting. I'm grateful to have heard him play a handful of times, a couple of which I presented. Rest in peace, Paul. Dubya will never bother you whereever you are...
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 03:31 PM
zula zula is offline
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This email from Martin Davidson, founder of Emanem Records, was just posted at Bagatellen:


"As you may already know, Paul Rutherford was found dead in his flat in S.E. London on August 5. The cause of death was sclerosis of the liver and a ruptured aorta.
Paul was one of the pioneers of free improvisation, and many consider him to have been the finest trombonist and one of the finest improvisers in the area. He was certainly a very distinctive musician – many players had been influenced by him to some degree (not only trombonists), but no one sounded anything like him. Among his most important performances were his unaccompanied solos, and those in his trio Iskra 1903 that contained Barry Guy and either Derek Bailey or Philipp Wachsmann. He was a gentle, kind man with an outrageous sense of humour, and will be sorely missed. However, he also suffered from bouts of depression, and was frustrated that he was not recognised more widely.
For those who are able to attend, the funeral will be on Thursday August 16 at 10:30 am at Lewisham Crematorium in Hither Green Cemetery on Verdant Lane, London SE6 1JX. [The nearest station is Grove Park (trains from Charing Cross, Waterloo East & London Bridge). From there, it is about a 20 minute walk, or buses 124 or 284 can be boarded from the bus stop in Downham Way.]"
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  #5  
Old Aug 12, 2007, 09:20 PM
zula zula is offline
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Here's a well-written obituary from The Guardian:

Richard Williams
Friday August 10, 2007

It would not be entirely fanciful to trace the beginnings of European free improvising to the first meeting of the trombonist Paul Rutherford, who has died aged 67, with the drummer John Stevens and the saxophonist Trevor Watts in 1958. All three had spotted the opportunity of a paid first-class musical education offered by the air force's band college at Uxbridge, west London, and the daily routine turned out to be surprisingly helpful to their true ambitions. After an hour's formal practice in the morning, for the rest of the day they had the freedom of the band room to pursue a joint interest in the forms of American jazz with which, a decade later, they would engineer a decisive rupture.

Rutherford, in particular, became a prominent member of the small coterie of European free improvisers whose work significantly expanded the vocabulary of instrumental music. In his case the language of the trombone was broadened to include a seemingly infinite variety of unlikely sounds. It was his inherent musicality, along with a relish for surprise and a seldom disguised sense of humour, that allowed him to gather and arrange the new materials into something both highly personal and, to listeners of a sympathetic temperament, enormously satisfying.

Born in Greenwich and brought up in Blackheath Village, he inherited his leftwing beliefs and a teasing wit from his father, a former soldier who worked at the Woolwich Arsenal. Influenced by an older brother's enthusiasm for Charlie Parker, he tried the saxophone before settling on the trombone and enlisting in the air force to further his musical education.
He was playing pub gigs with a Dixieland band when he encountered Stevens and Watts, but soon the trombonist was returning to base clutching the latest album by John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman. Drafted to Cologne at the beginning of the 1960s, the three played with German and American musicians at a cellar bar, and heard Coltrane with Miles Davis.

After leaving the service in 1963, Rutherford enrolled at the Guildhall school of music in London and, with Watts, joined Neil Ardley's New Jazz Orchestra. Two years later, seeking a less restrictive musical environment, they were reunited with Stevens, and on January 3 1966 all three were present - along with the pianist Peter Lemer, the bassist Jeff Clyne and the saxophonist Graham Bond - for the first session of improvised music at the Little Theatre Club in Covent Garden. The name of the group, which would undergo numberless changes of size and personnel, was the Spontaneous Music Ensemble; their first recording, Challenge, was issued on a small label later that year.

Among those arriving to swell the ranks were the saxophonist Evan Parker, the guitarist Derek Bailey (obituary, December 29 2005) and the bassist Barry Guy, whose instrumental innovations would parallel those of Rutherford. Gradually the music shed its similarities to American jazz as the nature of free improvisation became clear: a music devoid of the conventional armature of repetition, whether of metre, melody or harmonic structure, requiring courage and endurance from both player and listener but capable of providing a unique dividend on the investment.

He won the attention of a broader audience after joining Mike Westbrook's Concert Band in time for the recording of a suite titled Release in 1968. During his two years with Westbrook, he formed a potent trombone partnership with Malcolm Griffiths, whose brassy forthrightness formed an effective contrast with his own more glancing, allusive approach.
His gifts earned him membership of a huge variety of groupings, including Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, Keith Tippett's Centipede, the Tony Oxley Sextet, Elton Dean's Newsense, the Charlie Watts Big Band and countless ad hoc duos, trios, quartets and quintets, while he also accepted gigs with the Soft Machine, the Detroit Spinners and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

His own group, Iskra 1903, initially a trio with Guy and Bailey, played a particularly intimate and texturally adventurous form of free music; its name, the Russian word for "spark", was borrowed from a newspaper founded by Lenin and indicated the nature of Rutherford's political beliefs, centred on fundamental, no-frills communism. Later there would be an expanded Iskra 1912 and eventually a large-scale Iskastra.

In 1970 a visit to the annual Free Jazz Meeting sponsored in Baden-Baden by Germany's Südwestfunk radio station led to recordings with Don Cherry's New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, and groups led by the saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, the trumpeter Manfred Schoof and the bassist Peter Kowald. His growing reputation eventually took him to the US and Japan.

In his first solo album, The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie, recorded in 1974, Rutherford demonstrated his eventually influential mastery of multiphonics, the practice of singing while playing one or (through the use of harmonics) more notes at the same time. That same year, a recording of Iskra 1903 was included with those of France's New Phonic Art and Germany's Wired in a Deutsche Grammophon box set devoted to European free improvisation.

Among the more cherishable incidents from the early history of this music occurred on the night Rutherford announced that he would be performing Luciano Berio's Sequenza V. On concluding, he was approached by a listener who remarked that he had never heard the work so well performed. Rutherford was able to tell him that, after sticking to the score for the first couple of minutes, he had improvised the rest.

"I want to go out not knowing what will happen," he told an interviewer. "I know when I'm going to play, but not what I'm going to play." The purity of his approach impressed even the sceptical Bailey, who remarked to his biographer, Ben Watson: "The mysterious one to me at that time was Rutherford. He could produce genuine surprises. If anybody at that point qualified to be called a free player, it was Paul."

Inevitably, free music has always struggled to secure an audience, and the endless struggle could bring out the depressive side of Rutherford's nature. His political ideology underpinned his part in the formation, in the early 1970s, of the short-lived Musicians' Co-operative, alongside Bailey, Guy, Parker, the pianist Howard Riley and the percussionists Paul Lytton and Tony Oxley.

The last years were difficult. Apart from occasional appearances at the Red Rose and the Vortex in London, there were virtually no playing opportunities in Britain. To complicate the business of existing, his beliefs had prevented him from investing in home ownership and had cost him at least one of his three long-term relationships with women. Eventually he was forced to take a part-time job as a doorman at a working man's club, while health problems arising from a lifelong fondness for beer resulted in two major collapses.

Among his final recordings, however, was a highly effective appearance on AMaSSED, the 2002 album by Spring Heel Jack, in which the instrumental voices of various free improvisers were successfully blended into a post-rock sound world. Rutherford would have scoffed at the notion that the difficult, demanding music which began to make its way into the world almost 50 years ago ever required external validation; here, nevertheless, was an unmistakable sign of its enduring worth.


· Paul Rutherford, improvising trombonist, born February 29 1940; died August 5 2007
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