British percussionist Eddie Prevost,
guitarist Keith Rowe,
saxophonist Lou Gare and pianist Cornelius Cardew formed
AMM, one of the pioneering ensembles of free improvvisation.
Prevost, Rowe and Gare had cut their teeth in jazz bands.
AMMusic (june 1966 - Elektra, 1966 - Matchless, 1994),
featuring Cardew on piano and cello, Lou Gare
on tenor saxophone and violin, Eddie Prevost on percussion, Keith Rowe on
guitar, Lawrence Sheaff on cello, accordion and clarinet (and three of them
also on transistor radio), contains six improvisations (including a ten-seconds
track of silence titled Silence), but the three lengthy ones are the
most representative. They have no beginning and no ending: the recording is
just a "sample" of the performance.
Later During A Flaming Riviera Sunset displays the two fundamental
dimensions of the music: on one hand, cello and violin vibrate like John Cale's viola in LaMonte Young's ensemble, thus creating a continuum of sound, and on
the other hand, random piano notes and various noises pop up in no
rational configuration. Occasionally, the two streams of sound resonate with
each other, but most often the former serves as the "river bed" for the other.
In The Realm Of Nothing Whatever is free-form electroacoustic chamber
music (the "electro" part being due to the radio frequencies), which predates
the most radical experiments of Chicago's creative improvisers, with all the
instruments in a peer role.
The sounds are less "sporadic" and pointillistic in
After Rapidly Circling The Plaza. They tend to drone and interact.
They become layers of a texture rather than characters of a drama.
The effect is one of an indulgent, cancer-like, cannibalistic bacchanal.
Each of the three main pieces toys with a different structure/process.
All three exhibit the same inherent flaw: the music, by definition, has no
beginning and no ending, thus it goes nowhere.
Other AMM recordings of the time include:
one side of Live Electronic Music (Mainstream, 1968),
An Afflicted Man's Musica Box (United Diaries, 1982), that contains a
The Crypt (june 1968 - 1980), that documents a 1968 performance,
Laminal (december 1969), that documents another live performance.
Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost, Cornelius Cardew, Gavin Bryars and many other
composers and free improvisers created the Music Now Ensemble that recorded
Silver Pyramid (1969).
AMM subsequently released:
the live At The Roundhouse (august 1972), the first release without Cardew,
To Hear You Back Again (november 1974 - Matchless, 1974), recorded by the duo of Lou Gare and Eddie Prevost,
It Had Been An Ordinary Day In Pueblo (december 1979 - Japo, 1979),
recorded by the classic trio of guitarist Keith Rowe, percussionist Eddie Prevost and keyboardist John Tilbury,
Generative Themes (december 1982 - Matchless, 1982),
the live Combine and Laminates (may 1984),
the live Inexhaustible Document (Matchless, 1987),
the live Nameless Uncarved (april 1990 - Matchless, 1990),
Vendouvre Ambient Isolationism (Virgin, 1993),
Newfoundland (july 1992 - Matchless, 1994),
From A Strange Place (october 1995),
Live In Allentown (Matchless, 1996),
the live Tunes Without Measure Or End CD (may 2000 - Matchless, 2001),
Fine (Matchless, 2001),
The double-disc The Issue at Hand (1998) documents the trio of Prevost, Tilbury and shakuhachi player Yoshikazu Iwamoto.
Prevost also formed his own trio that released Touch (1998).
All Told (may 2011) documents a live performance by Eddie Prévost (drums), Evan Parker (tenor sax) and John Edwards (double bass).
Butcher/Prevost/Viltard (august 2011) documents a live performance by John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes), Guillaume Viltard (double bass) and Eddie Prevost (drums).
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