Monday 17 February 2020, 7.30pm
Geoff Hawkins / tenor saxophone
Gerry Gold / trumpet and flugelhorn
Marcio Mattos / double bass
Eddie Prévost / drums.
This is the first reunion of the Eddie Prévost Band since 1993 when it played at Carmarthen Arts Festival, in West Wales.
The Band was active in the mid-to-late 1970s. It flourished in the London scene of ad hoc venues, mostly discovered and nurtured by London musicians. But this band marked Prévost’s return to a more jazz-based music after the fracture of AMM in 1972, when Cornelius Cardew and Keith Rowe rejected experimentation in favour of a Maoist revolutionary activism.
Apart from the continuous activity of day to day or week by week playing in London, other opportunities arose. The band played in the Low Countries, Germany and France. This included a memorable concert at the (then) prestigious ‘modernist’ Palace of the People, in East Berlin during the Cold-War period before The Wall was demolished. The band played to a (perhaps) bemused mixed age-range of East Germans (probably bussed -in and given tickets as a ‘social reward’) and a sprinkling of uniformed Soviet soldiers. To add to the bizarre nature of the event, each of the band, in true bourgeois fashion, were presented with huge bouquets of flowers at the end of the concert. The ‘Palace’ was itself demolished by 2008.
By the end of the 1970s, the band had produced three albums. The first in 1976, Now, Here,This,Then released on a British jazz label, Spotlite. This was a live recording of a concert the band gave at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, in the Mall, London, sharing the evening with sound-poet Bob Cobbing. This recording was followed by LIVE Vols 1 and 2, the first LPs on the Matchless Recordings label. The latter recordings were combined to make a subsequent CD version. More recently, part of the band’s performance in a cave at the 1977 Balve Hohle festival is featured on an 8 CD box set: Various – New Jazz Festival Balver Höhle (New Jazz 1976 & 1977) Label: B.free 6272-6279. A short excerpt is here.
When the group disbanded, the musicians went their separate ways. Disappearing and re-appearing variously in the flux of musical activity which characterised the London improvisation scene. Mattos and Prévost shared various projects. And all the band participated in Prévost’s Spirals - a 30 plus musician extravaganza at London’s Roundhouse.
But over time these musicians moved into slightly different musical orbits.
***** "A stark, sometimes angry, beauty. This is indeed revolutionary music in that it works - can only work - in the free, totally open interaction between people”. – Black Music and Jazz Review.
Eddie Prévost began his life in music as a jazz drummer. A recurring interest in this form has been maintained, although always with an experimental ethos. Along the way he has maintained his fifty-year plus experimental credentials with AMM and numerous other improvisation projects, including his now twenty-year long weekly workshop. But drumming has generally been backgrounded to his experimental percussion work. More though, is to be expected of his drumming in 2020 on forthcoming multi-CD album: The Unexpected Alchemy. A part of this Krakow festival recording features the drums and saxophone trio of Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, and Eddie Prévost. His most recent released recordings include AMM’s: An Unintended Legacy, and a duo with John Butcher - Visionary Fantasies, both on Matchless Recordings. Also, a solo percussion LP on the Earshots label called Matching Mix. Later, in 2020 he meets with Jason Yarde and Nathan Moore, while in March concerts and recording will hear him drumming with US guitarist Henry Kaiser and saxophonist Binker Golding.
And, early 2020 should see the publication of his fourth book: An Uncommon Music for the Common Man: a polemical memoir.
“Prévost's free drumming flows superbly making use of his formidable technique. It’s as though there has never been an Elvin Jones or Max Roach.” - Melody Maker
“Relentlessly innovative yet full of swing and fire.” – Morning Star
Geoff Hawkins now also lives in Wales but has a long association with the Reading/Oxford-based jazz and improvised music scene. He has played with various Mingus and Sun Ra tribute projects. Hawkins still energises any band he is with and can be seen to advantage with his Reading-based quartet on YouTube: hear his A Night in Tunisia, and How High the Moon.
Since coming to London in the early 70’s Marcio Mattos has performed, recorded and broadcast both in Britain and abroad with most exponents of the Improvised Music world: Evan Parker, John Stevens, John Surman, Roswell Rudd, Dewey Redman, Roscoe Mitchell and Marylin Crispell amongst many others.
He has also worked with the dance companies Ballet Rambert and The Extemporary Dance Theatre Company as well as electro-acoustic music groups such as the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble, where he developed his own electronic treatment of the double bass and cello both in recording and live performance. It was at West Square he started working with Philipp Wachsmann and Ian Brighton initially, in the trio BM&W and then later, with the addition of percussionist Trevor Taylor, the quartet String Thing.
Such is the diversity of his playing, this highly “in demand” musician was also in many of the late Elton Dean formations, as well as being a long-standing member of numerous Eddie Prevost ensembles. His capability, attitude and flexibility led to his involvement in various international projects, mainly in Europe, including the “Bardo State Orchestra” - a project with Tibetan monks and Jim Dvorak, various projects with Georg Graewe, Tony Oxley’s Celebration Orchestra, “AXON” with Phil Minton/ Fred van Hove and Martin Blume and “LINES” with Phil Wachsmann/ Jim Denley/ Martin Blume and Axel Dorner.
His current projects include, a duo with Shakuhachi player Shiku Yano, the string quartet “Gocce Stellari” with Charlotte Hug, John Edwards and Phil Wachsmann and ‘ABAETETUBA’ with Panda Gianfratti, Thomas Rohrer and Rodrigo Montoya as well as his continued involvement as a permanent member of ‘LIO’, the London Improviser’s Orchestra.
Marcio Mattos is a much travelled and experienced improviser who can readily adapt and excel in every musical environment both on Double Bass and Cello. His “success”, in this respect, is primarily due to the high level of commitment he makes in every situation faced. His presence can be heard in very many released CD’s and especially in his latest solo recordings, “SOL[os]’ (EMANEM 5035)
“Mattos is a creative genius…his invention is unparalleled, as is his musicianship.” – Marc Medwin, review in ‘The Squid’s Ear
After a period with Marcio Mattos in the quintet Coherents, Gerry Gold moved to deepest Wales, where to this day he participates in the Welsh musical life of concert bands. At times, on trips to London, he participated in the weekly workshop Prévost first convened in 1999, and in 2003/4 he organised a workshop series in Carmarthen led alternately by Prévost and Maggie Nicols which led to a variety of collaborations. Currently, Gerry is one corner of What? This quartet, based in Mid and West Wales, includes the long-standing duo of guitarist Charlie Beresford and cellist Sonia Hammond, together with multi-instrumentalist, educator and author Rod Paton.