The solo album is a lost treasure. Recorded at three separate concerts, it captures Rutherford at the peak of his powers, employing a panoply of techniques, many experimental and innovative, most developed by Rutherford himself. He manages to make a solo trombone sound like a rich and varied ensemble. As well as various muted effects, there are frequent examples of Rutherford's renowned multi-phonics - singing (or sometimes growling) whilst also playing.
There is playing at the extremes of the tonal range: the deep bass split tones on A Song My Granny Taught Me and Quartus are both extraordinary and affecting. The sudden, soaring high frequency swoops, often accompanied by vocal effects, are just as impressive. And on Berl In Zil, Rutherford duets with a trombone-activated piano which produces sounds similar to a pianist plucking and strumming inside the instrument, the end result being pleasingly harmonious.
The most miraculous thing of all, however, is not the range of sounds that Rutherford conjures from his instrument, but that they are all integrated together - alongside much conventional playing - into performances that burst with musicality and imagination. Never does it sound as if Rutherford is using an effect just because he can, but rather that he has a vast array of sounds available, which he deploys as required to translate the sounds in his head into music.
This is one of Rutherford's very best albums; in time, it may even come to be rated as highly as his classic solo album, THE GENTLE HARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE. For now, it can certainly be mentioned in the same breath.