Matchless Recordings

Flawlessly recorded in 2008, this is Eddie Prevost and John Tilbury with guest John Butcher in quiet mood; every tiny sound counts and every shade of timbre has space to make its presence felt.  "The tiniest sound is amplified by intention. Other noises are transformed into counterpoint. The music begins. Tentative suggestions are offered, politely ignored, admonished or not noticed. Serendipitous slips of the wrist are canonised -- pursued by conflagrations and spectacular shell bursts. Momentum is achieved. The music has an energy with which the musicians can wrestle, deflecting its trajectory or being thrown inconsequentially aside. Tempo defied temporality. Logic limps away. As suddenly as the turbulence arose it subsides, hovering portentously, unpredictable and uncontrollable in all those ways a serialist doesn't trust. The musician waits, trying to anticipate and out-think the unthinking but thinkable direction the sounds will take. Construction overtakes the constructionist, who can only nod approvingly as the piers and girders of musical form slot automatically into place. Here is the invisible handshake, enjoined before a motion was ever formulated. The music makes itself -- just as man makes himself. Here are volition, intention, determination tempered by acceptance of eventuality. Here is definition by action. I am what I am because I do what I do, acted upon and acting upon. The sound returns. The contra-bass drum resounds, its deep vibration sympathising with the solar-plexus. The echo grows weaker and richer at the same time, as its lingering residue settles into the crevices of perception. The drummer raises the beater; then slowly and with conscious care withdraws the intention. No more sound is need." - Eddie Prevost --- Eddie Prevost / percussion John Tilbury / piano John Butcher / soprano & tenor saxophone --- Recorded at Trinity College of Music, Greenwich, on 13th January 2008 by Sebastian Lexer. Mastered by Sebastian Lexer. Cover 'Lamberton Court' by Andrew Prevost. 

AMM with John Butcher - Trinity

"Alan Wilkinson’s best known for his work with the high-energy Hession-Wilkinson-Fell trio. His discography includes just two duets, both with guitar players, but anyone who can stand up to both Derek Bailey and Stefan Jaworzyn comes out of a large and resource-rich bag. He is by far the most energy-oriented player to join Prévost in this particular ring, but the latter’s overriding determination to play exactly what the music of the moment requires serves him well here. Despite what I said a moment, ago, don’t get the idea that there’s any sparring going on here; while Wilkinson hits hard on both alto and baritone sax, this is a record where the two men work together, not against each other. Each is respectful of the other’s individuality and ability. Wilkinson does contribute some feral blowing; his unbridled snorts and whinnies on the title track are positively Ayleresque in their dimensions. But Prévost’s contributions take the music to a different place, unstable yet completely assured. His work in AMM has labeled him a percussionist, and rightly so, but listen to “Supa, Supa;” with its shuffling high-hat and dancing brushes – this is idiomatically aware jazz drumming of a very high order. Some of the best music occurs when they bring things down. On the lengthy and languorous “For Marlene,” baritone first sings quietly and then bubbles while toms rumble; a melody winds and twists whilst discovering itself in empty space. Exquisite." - Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine --- Eddie Prévost / drums Alan Wilkinson / alto & baritone saxophones --- Recorded at Barefoot Studios, London, on 10th January 2006, by Mark Richie. Front cover by Gina Southgate.

Eddie Prévost / Alan Wilkinson - So Are We, So Are We

Recording of the long overdue meeting of Prévost & Schlippenbach.  On Eddie Prévost's drum solo - "...absolutely masterful dissertation in jazz drumming with roots in Roach and Blackwell; it might be one of the finest jazz percussion solos on record. He does take something from the AMM experience in that he dwells in a handful of specific areas for minutes at a time, not flying willy-nilly over his set (thus recalling Jerome Cooper's wonderful solo performances from the 70s). So he begins with brushes on drumheads, gradually adds in cymbals, proceeds to sticks on toms and rims, has a brief episode with the full set, then eventually concentrates on the cymbals to end things. Throughout, he maintains a quick rhythm with a light touch, a thread that helps the entire piece cohere beautifully. His melodic touch is astonishing-Roach would be proud. This track alone makes purchase of "Blackheath" mandatory." - Brian Olewnick  "In his early period, Prévost was jokingly referred to as the "Art Blakey of Brixton", while Schlippenbach emulated the Jazz Messengers during the early 60's. "Art Blakey was one of our idols," says the pianist. We transcribed and copied the songs of Jazz Messengers records in the Manfred School Quintet.” - Christoph Wagner.  --- Eddie Prévost / drums Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano  --- Recorded at a concert given at Blackheath Halls, London, England on 30th March 2008 by Sebastian Lexer. Mastered by Sebastian Lexer. 

Alexander von Schlippenbach & Eddie Prévost - Blackheath

"Some would argue that comfort is the last thing improvised music should give the listener; Eddie Prévost and John Tilbury would most probably concur. However,Uncovered Correspondence: a Postcard from Jasło is bafflingly comforting; not because it is bucolic, even though the ratio of cool calm passages to robust clangor is higher than usual on AMM’s recordings, but because the percussionist and the pianist have such a dependably refined and complementary rapport. This stands out more than usual because this concert recording is AMM’s first album since 2006’s that mysterious forest below London Bridge (Matchless) to feature Prévost and Tilbury as a duo. This rapport certainly didn’t evaporate on 08’s Trinity and 09’s Sounding Music (also on Matchless) that included adjuncts like John Butcher Christian Wolff and Ute Kanngiesser, but was instead absorbed in the larger ensembles. Isolated, Prévost and Tilbury’s emphasis on tone color and decay does not simply base-coat the music – it is the music in the main. Much the same was repeatedly said of AMM during Keith Rowe’s long tenure, but there seems to be something approaching a fundamental shift in AMM’s agenda since the noise-privileging guitarist’s departure – a new regard for beauty, though not in an ordinary sense of the word. Each of the three “Paragraphs” (the presumably Cardew-inspired designation of structure folds neatly into the correspondence theme) has exquisite moments where the chiming quality of Tilbury’s spare keyboarding dovetails with the more spectral timbres produced in the piano’s interior (he is always impressively nimble at producing roughly antiphonal exchanges with himself) or the metallic sheen of Prévost’s bowed cymbals. Not all of these passages simply hover in the stillness of the hushed concert hall; the album ends with a surprising and affecting outpouring before slipping into silence. While there is nothing dilutive or simplified about Uncovered Correspondence: a Postcard from Jasło, it is the most inviting album AMM has ever made." - Bill Shoemaker.  --- Recorded at the concert hall of the Jasielski Dom Kultury in southern Poland on 15th May 2010 by Karol Moszczyński. Edited, mixed and mastered by Sebastian Lexer. Front cover - Jaslo market, 1915. Reproduced here with kind permission of Jerzy Rucinsky. 

AMM - Uncovered Correspondence

Leveraging the concept of the geometrically impossible Penrose Triangle, the trio of Sebastian Lexer (piano), Eddie Prevost (percussion) and Seymour Wright (sax) perform three permutations of duos and one full trio. --- "On Impossibility In Its Purest Form, the trio of Prévost with prepared pianist Lexer and saxophonist Wright sound like they are working within the confines of the listener’s own cranium. Like craftsmen, they gently prepare and scrape at those bony surfaces, filling gaps, adding minimal embellishment. The more open-minded will find the restrictiveness paradoxically liberating, the trio ultimately carving out a door to a whole world of colour, shade and texture." - The Liminal "Each performance begin in nothingness, eventually finds a kind of convergence, then elongates that moment, stretching it in time and space until there is room in one’s awareness for little else. In a sense dauntingly abstract, the work is also visceral, with both Wright (he can sound like a duck without being specifically mimetic) and Prévost exploring harsh reed and bowed metal sounds, in contrast to the refined and unpredictable little sounds that Lexer seems to prefer. That harshness may articulate either the struggle of a music that is made out of nothingness and which will return to it, or the impossibility of the moment and the insistence on its potential for habitation." - Point of Departure --- Recorded at The Welsh Chapel, Southwark Bridge Road, London in July and October 2011.

Lexer / Prévost / Wright - Impossibility in its Purest Form

First solo recordings from Lou Gare, founding member of AMM.  "Toward the end of his fine short essay for Laminal, AMM's 30th Anniversary set, Jim O'Rourke asks in relation to the experience of simultaneously hearing the record and viewing the accompanying photograph of AMM's The Crypt, "where was the saxophone?" Here, almost 40 years later, it is. Solo exposed, unfettered, no strings attached. A long way from where it was, or might have been, then, and has been carried, blown, viewed qua saxophone, and not (for a time with AMM played bugle-like with bottom end pads and keys removed) since. Fecund, heavy with ideas and the weight of everywhere and everything it's been in between...Without cease, traces, quotes, paraphrases and retellings run through this music, shaping and propelling its form and ideas. The appearance and development of melodies, motifs and often standards which are then worked, stretched, worried at, broken down, put back together and played with before being let drift away, is, Lou suggests more influenced by Indian music than the jazz tradition. Two examples here are "Loose Blues" and "Good Morning Mr. Rollins" which appears to acknowledge an unplanned musical meeting with a sound and through it the idea of an old musical acquaintance, as if unexpectedly bumping into someone on the way to do something else." - Seymour Wright.  --- Lou Gare / tenor saxophone --- Recorded at Firefly Studios, Thowleigh, Devon, England on 13th and 20th April 2005. Recording engineer Richard Knapp. Front cover photograph by Penny Gare. 

Lou Gare - no strings attached