Reviews that mention Eddie Prévost
July 16, 2018
By Brian Olewnick
By Ken Waxman
Brian Olewnick is an excellent record reviewer. This nearly 500 page volume devoted to the life and music of British table-top guitarist Keith Rowe demonstrates his skill in that specialized genre by frequently offering well-though-out and insightful reviews of many sessions featuring Rowe or the ensemble with which he became well-known: AMM. While this analysis of sessions released and unreleased, plus live encounters is an important addendum to any analysis of European Free Music since 1960, it often appears to takes the place of more erudite observations in the book. MORE
November 11, 2015
By Trevor Barre
Out of Nowhere, The Uniquely Elusive Jazz of Mike Taylor
By Luca Ferrara
By Ken Waxman
A succinct, personal, opinioned and ultimately insightful volume about the so-called First Generation of British Free Musicians, Beyond Jazz is first-time author Trevor Barre’s crisply-written, well-informed overview of the scene during those crucial seven years. A little too young and living elsewhere in the U.K., to have participated in most of the seminal London-based performances of that era, Barre’s turned to contemporary journalism, some academic studies and most importantly correspondence with 21 Free Music mover and shakers to fill out the story. Out Of Nowhere, the Uniquely Elusive Jazz of Mike Taylor is an exhaustive near hagiography tracing the brief career of a British pianist whose career began and ended in the 1960s and whose particular music and short life characterized all that was good and bad about the improvised and overall music scene during that representative decade. MORE
October 7, 2013
Just Not Cricket: Three Days of Improvised Music in Berlin
Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu nvnc lp001/004
Erik Carlsson & All Stars
Swedish azz Volume 1 & Volume 2
NotTwo MW 901-1A/ NotTwo MW 901-1B
Thomas Lehn, Michel F. Côté, Éric Normand
Tour de Bras DL #1
Malcolm Goldstein/Thomas Lehn
Tour de Bras DL #2
Something In the Air: Good Music Comes In Many Forms and Formats
By Ken Waxman
Standardization is a thing of the past when it comes to recorded music and listeners who get too far ahead of or behind the curve are likely to miss interesting sounds. Just as the production of movies didn’t cease with the acceptance of television, so the manufacture of LPs continued even as the CD became the format of the moment. As artisans continue to craft fine furniture despite the availability of mass-produced items, so too LPs are being created in limited quantities. This situation appears tailor-made for experimental sounds. Similarly since advanced players are often as impecunious as they are inventive, the ubiquity of the Internet means that some music is only sold through the Web. The option of not having to create a physical product is a boon for non-mainstream performers. MORE
March 20, 2013
Georg Graewe/Evan Parker
Nuscope CD 1026
Rewarding meetings with old and new associates, these CDs demonstrate the intuitive tactics British tenor saxophonist Evan Parker adopts each time he improvises. One of his infrequent contacts with German pianist Georg Graewe, Dortmund Variations is an exploration of adversarial keyboard and reed techniques. In contrast Cinema is classic sound juxtaposition. Recorded in Bristol more than two years before the Dortmund set of 2010, it features Parker not only in the company of AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost, part of the same first generation of British improvisers as the reedist, but much younger John Coxon, playing electric guitar and prepared piano. One-half of the electronic duo Spring Heel Jack (SHJ), Coxon was fairly ubiquitous in Free Music circles then, releasing CDs where SHJ created a provocative variant of its own sounds mixed with live and sampled contributions from prominent Free players such as Parker. MORE
July 6, 2012
By Ken Waxman
London-based pianist Veryan Weston is a well-travelled musician who regularly turns up in a variety of free music situations in the United Kingdom and aboard. Best-known for his long associations with iconoclastic saxophonist Lol Coxhill and distinctive vocalist Phil Minton, Weston has also spent time in various ensembles with, among others, drummer Eddie Prévost, saxophonist John Butcher and is sometimes a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Weston and British alto saxophonist Trevor Watts are playing at the Stone this month as part of a duo tour of the US. MORE
September 5, 2011
Józef Patkowski in Memorium
Bolt Records DUX 0812/13
Fascinating in its bravado, this set joins one CD of 1960s and 1970s recording of important musique concrete by five Polish composers with another CD of acoustic improvisations on these themes by three British and two Polish players. The result not only captures cerebral variants of the compositions but also affirms the originality of the sounds created in the days of bulky tape recorders and thick coaxial cables.
Honoring Józef Patkowski (1929-2005), co-founder of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) in 1957 and its director for 28 years, the original recordings revisit the musical freedom offered by PRES during those Cold War years. For instance Krzystof Penderecki’s Psalmus (1961) uses electronic filtering and flanges to deconstruct vowels and constants initially created by the bel canto gurgles and quivering yodels of male and female singers. John Tilbury’s contemporary piano version is more chromatic, with vibrating and strumming strings resonating on top of basso keyboard rumbles. After the tune reaches satisfactory linearity, he shatters the mood by shrilling a lifeguard’s whistle. MORE
November 21, 2010
Another Timbre welcomes both established and younger improvisers
By Ken Waxman
Frustration, altruism and a sudden monetary windfall were the contributing factors that led Simon Reynell to found the Sheffield England-based Another Timbre record label (www.anothertimbre.com) in 2006. After more than two dozen releases – both on CD and CD-R – it’s now acknowledged as an artistic success.
A sound recordist for television and someone who has been “passionately into experimental music” for around 35 years, Reynell had become increasingly frustrated by what he calls the “dumbing down” of TV programming to reality and celebrity-oriented shows from the sort of proper documentaries on which he works. An unexpected inheritance gave him some capital and Another Timbre (AT) was born. Initially setting out to present the work of young improvisers involved in drummer Eddie Prévost’s 10-year-old weekly London workshop, the catalogue has expanded to include not only improvisers from outside the United Kingdom, but also established stylists such as pianist Chris Burn and sound-singer Phil Minton. MORE
June 6, 2010
Freedom of the City 2010
By Ken Waxman
“To Thine Self Be True” is lettered horizontally in careful script above the stage at Conway Hall in London’s Bloomsbury district, where London’s annual Freedom of the City (FOTC) festival took place May 2 and 3. Although related to the philosophy of the Ethical Society which built the edifice in 1929, the slogan can easily also be applied to five dozen or so improvisers featured at FOTC.
Organized about decade ago by saxophonist Evan Parker and AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost to showcase the city’s vibrant improvising scene, FOTC today welcomes as many tyros as veterans – and from the Continent and North America as well as the United Kingdom. Participants ranged from eccentric soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, 77 and American trumpeter Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, 67, to young participants in Prévost’s weekly improv workshop and American brassman Peter Evans. MORE
April 19, 2010
A Church is Only Sacred to Believers
Al Maslakh: MSLKH 10
A Night in Sana’a
When it comes to sound production, musicians from what are generally thought of as Arab countries are no more monolithic in its creation then those from the west –especially if free improvisation is involved. Which is why these two discs are so fascinating, different and memorable. Even though both involve musicians of Arab background and are in the main concerned with free music, neither is like the other in any way shape or form. MORE
February 16, 2010
Matchless MRCD 71
Polwechsel & John Tilbury
Adding a new element to an established entity even in improvised music can be liberating, upsetting or something in-between. This thesis is demonstrated on these CDs, with, for a variety of factors, varying results.
On Field for instance, where the distinctive pianism of British keyboardist John Tilbury joins the Austrian-German-British Polwechsel quintet, the resulting sound field is enhanced. Trinity on the other hand is more problematic. Here British saxophonist John Butcher – who was a member of Polwechsel when the first CD was recorded – adds his reed style to sounds created by the long-standing AMM duo of Tilbury and percussionist Eddie Prévost. Oddly enough the triangle appears unbalanced not from Butcher’s novel contributions, but from a bewildering reticence on the part of Prévost. This is especially puzzling since the saxophonist and the percussionist recorded a notable disc in 2005. MORE
June 6, 2005
Never Give Up On The Margins Of Logic
For Permitted Consumption
More dispatches from the electro-acoustic edge of the improv equation, appreciation of these two short CDs depends on your acceptance of pure textural sound unprettified with melody, structure or harmony sound linked to the mechanism only available in the late 20th and 21st centuries.
With hiss and static counting as much as elaborated tones, one of the most mystifying products of the creation is that the five musicians involved in Sakada produce no more extended nor resonant tones than the two players featured on FOR PERMITTED CONSUMPTION. MORE
November 15, 2004
Evan Parker & Eddie Prévost
By Ken Waxman
November 22, 2004
Despite various personnel permutations in British microtonal progenitor AMM since its formation in 1966, members have always characterized the band as involving much more than the musicians on stage and on record.
While this particular piece of mysticism seems out of character for the prodigiously educated and experienced players who make up the band, theres no disputing that non-AMM projects expose unexpected musical persona of its members. Both these duo CDs are cases-in-point. MORE
January 19, 2004
A Bright Nowhere
Matchless MRCD 55
Turning on its head the old NRA slogan of guns dont kill people, people kill people and actually that way making a modicum of sense out of its twisted message, these bands show that instruments dont make the music, people do.
For both these quintets consist of improvisers playing the exact same instruments and ones which make up the prototypical hard bop quintet. Yet the advanced music played by Mario Pavones quintet -- and trio -- is anything but typical boppish fare. Meantime the Conditions twist the sounds arising from trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums into original fare that owes more to extended free improvisation than freebop. MORE
January 19, 2004
Not for the dilettante nor the electro-acoustic faint-of-heart, this nearly 46 minute slab of semi-improvisation can be an unsettling experience if you come to it with explicit jazz, classical or even free music expectations.
Based around a 193-page graphic score of numbers, shapes and symbols of exquisite intricacy by British composer Cornelius Cardew, (1936-1981), Treatise, developed between 1963 and 1967, contains no explicit instructions about how to perform the work. Every performance can be different, though its possible that some who have heard it other times may not be prepared for the unyielding electronic tones that arise during this performance. Most upsetting are the harsh, ear-splitting textures that arise from either electric guitar or electronic distortion and reverberate for up to 40 seconds at a time. MORE
September 15, 2003
Matchless MRCD 54
Partly a misnomer, despite its title -- which is discussed in rather too much detail in the booklet notes -- NONE (-T) isnt really a recording by a nine-piece band. Instead its an up-to-the-minute aural snapshot of the London improvisational scene that radiates from the workshop run by venerable AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost.
With nearly 74 minutes of music jammed onto 10 tracks, it highlights the skills of these experimental Prévostians -- to coin a new catchphrase for a scene that loves schisms and categorizations. The full nonet only performs on one track -- the first and longest -- and eight of the musicians -- minus one of the three [!] pianists -- combine to play on the last one, which clocks in at 9½-minutes plus. All other tracks feature various combinations of the players. Overall the disc provides a valuable showcase for the ideas of younger experimenters who are long past debating which sounds, noises and non-sound should be classified as music. MORE
July 14, 2003
Clean Feed CF006 CD
As with any empirical formula, changing one part of a musical equation can result in a completely different outcome. Compare John Coltranes quartet with McCoy Tyner on piano to the one with Alice Coltrane on piano for instance. Or think of how different the Modern Jazz Quartet sounded with Connie Kay instead of Kenny Clarke on drums.
Portuguese total improv ensemble, Telectu, has done something like that on this three-CD set. Together for more than 20 years Telectus guiding duo -- pianist Jorge Lima Barreto and guitarist Vìtor Rua -- have over the years adapted variation of electronica, minimalism, musique concrète, art rock and lounge jazz to its improv foundation, collaborating with musicians such as experimental American guitarist Elliott Sharp and French clarinetist Louis Sclavis. Recently, despite side projects in theatre works and poetry, the band has become more acoustic, especially when Ruas self-designed 18-string guitar is put into play. British soprano saxophonist Tom Chant has been the third Telectuan since 1990. MORE
May 5, 2003
Non-hierarchical arrangements have long characterized the sounds made in that subset of free music called BritImprov. Until recently -- and then only contemporaneously with the widespread acceptance of electronics -- barefaced virtuosity using extended techniques was the usual stock in trade for Continental and North American improvisers. Groups from the United Kingdom, on the other hand, following the lead of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and AMM: they seemed to be more about group improvisations than the show-offy products of any one musician. MORE
March 31, 2003
Early Piano Music (1951-1961)
Matchless MRCD 51
Member of the so-called New York School along with John Cage, Morton Feldman and Earle Brown, French/American composer Christian Wolff (b. 1934) also has a considerable history with improvisation.
Mostly self-taught, like many of the greatest jazzmen, he has been a professor of classics and music at Dartmouth College since 1970. Not only do many of his pieces allow for cues and other material to spark the performers interpretations, but as a pianist Wolff has improvised with, among others, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, turntablist Christian Marclay and, most notably, veteran British trio AMM. MORE
July 6, 2002
Most rational listeners -- excepting out-and-out percussion fanatics -- approach a solo percussion disc with the same ear wrenching dread most of us reserve for the dentist's drill. In fact many might prefer some very noisy oral surgery session to spending an hour with the over-inflated bombast that resonates from the kit of most rock, all fusion and many jazz drummers.
An Eddie Prévost session is different. One of the founders of British group AMM, he has spent more than 35 years perfecting an approach to non-associative music that is as musically mysterious as it is subtle. You dont listen to a Prévost -- or in fact AMM discs -- to say, listen to that guy bang that bass drum and sets of cymbals, but to puzzle out what percussive impulse produces which sound. If anything the words which best describe the four instrumentals that make up the almost 65 minutes of this session are focused composure. MORE
April 26, 2002
Suddenly (for them) speedy as Winter Olympic skaters, the members of AMM have released a CD less than a year after their most recent one. Remarkable for a band that often goes years between sessions, the three grand old men of BritImprov must have thought this session recorded in May 2001 in Vendoeuvre-les-Nancy, France was pretty special.
It is, but perhaps not in the way they heard it. The AMMers -- guitarist Keith Rowe, pianist John Tilbury and percussionist Eddie Prévost -- always present a problem for those trying to write about them, because their performances, both live and on record, are so much of a whole. Like René Magrittes paintings or James Joyces prose each artistic statement is unequivocally linked to the bands overall oeuvre, but enigmatically unique. FINE is more than fine because the musicians abandon the median intonation of the last disc for sections that are not only subterraneously hushed -- an AMM trademark -- but clamorous as any industrial noise band maximizing its amplification. MORE
September 10, 2001
Tunes Without Measure or End
Very few musicians -- or artists of any kind -- have been able to create a sphere so self-contained that it's not linked to any other timbre. And few have also made that one instantaneously recognizable. Yet AMM, the British improv group, did so when it first recorded in 1966, and has been refining this conception on record and in person ever since.
This new CD is thus not only the band's first disc to be released since 1996's BEFORE DRIVING TO THE CHAPEL but it's also another metaphoric chapter in what could be termed the book of AMM, adding more distinctive information to the group's unique oeuvre. MORE
April 7, 2000
For 4 Ears CD 1036
Irish-born, Swiss resident John Wolf Brennan is the very epitome of the 21st century musician. He's a pianist and composer who has written music for media ranging from installations and acoustical environments, to jazz and classical orchestras, dance companies, chamber ensembles plus a vocal-improv setting of contemporary poetry.
Unlike earlier crossovers, like André Previn, he doesn't put his work into separate compartments, but brings the same conviction to every project. That said, EN.TROPO.LOGY is Brennan's "jazz" album. It succeeds so spectacularly well because his partners here are two of the most accomplished standard bearers of the British branch of European improvisation.MORE