Eddie Prevost and AMM

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AMMusic (Elektra, 1966 - Matchless, 1994) ***
AMM: The Crypt (Mainstream, 1968 - Matchless, 1981) ***
AMM: To Hear You Back Again (Matchless, 1974)
AMM: It Had Been An Ordinary Day In Pueblo (Japo, 1979)
AMM: Generative Themes (Matchless, 1982)
AMM: Combine and Laminates (Pogus, 1984)
AMM: An Afflicted Man's Musica Box (United DIaries, 1982)
AMM: Inexhaustible Document (january 1987 - Matchless, 1987)
AMM: Nameless Uncarved (Matchless, 1990)
AMM: Vendouvre Ambient Isolationism (Virgin, 1993)
AMM: Newfoundland (Matchless, 1994)
AMM: Live In Allentown (Matchless, 1996)
AMM: Fine (Matchless, 2001)
AMM: Tunes Without Measure Or End CD (Matchless, 2001)

In 1966 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 1967 recording, The Crypt (june 1968 - 1980), that documents a 1968 performance, and 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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AMM's Tunes Without Measure Or End CD (Matchless, 2001) documents a live 2000 performance. Their collaboration with Formanex (Fibr, 2003) is a tribute to Cardew's Treatise (1967). AMM's At the Roundhouse (Anomalous, 2004) documents a 1972 performance. The AMM of Trinity (january 2008) was a trio of Eddie Prevost (drums), John Tilbury (piano) and John Butcher (soprano and tenor saxophone). Sounding Music (2010) featured John Butcher (on tenor & soprano saxes), Ute Kanngiesser (cello), Eddie Prévost (percussion), John Tilbury (piano) and Christian Wolff (piano, bass guitar and melodica).

Discrete Moments (2004) was a collaboration between Tilbury and Prevost.

AMM's Two London Concerts (march 2011) documents two improvisations by pianist John Tilbury and drummer Eddie Prevost: E1 (31 minutes) and SE1 (47 minutes).

AMM's one-hour piece of Place Sub V (may 2012) was performed live by the core duo of pianist John Tilbury and percussionist Eddie Provost.

All Change (june 2012), that contains only one 74-minute piece, documents a live improvisation by Tom Chant (tenor and soprano saxes), John Edwards (double bass) and Eddie Prevost (drums).

The triple-disc 3 Nights At Cafe Oto (may 2013) documents lengthy live performances by Evan Parker (tenor sax), John Edwards (double bass), Eddie Prevost (drums), Christof Thewes (trombone) and Alexander Von Schlippenbach (piano).

Spanish Fighters (november 2012) contains a 37-minute live improvisation by Tilbury and Prevost.

The triple-disc set An Unintended Legacy (Matchless, 2018) documents three concerts (december 2015, april 2016 and june 2016) performed by Tilbury, Prevost and Rowe.

The one-hour improvisation of Tools Of Imagination (september 2017) was a collaboration between Eddie Prevost (drums and percussion) and Evan Parker (tenor sax).

AMM, i.e. the duo of Eddie Prevost (percussion) and John Tilbury (piano), joined the "A" trio, i.e. Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), Sharif Sehnaoui (acoustic guitar) and Raed Yassin (double bass), for the live AAMM (august 2015), which contains the 51-minute suite Unholy Elisabeth.

The 48-minute suite of Sissel (january 2017) was performed by John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar and electronics) and Kjell Bjorgeengen (live video).

Uncertain Outcomes contains two one-hour-long collaborations (september 2015 and july 2016) with Christian Wolff.

Visionary Fantasies (april 2018), a collaboration with John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes), contains the three-part 35-minute Visionary Fantasies.

The 42-minute piece of The Whole Moon Rests In A Dewdrop On The Grass (january 2018) documents a collaboration with Ken Ikeda (electronics).

Instead, Darkened, Yet Shone (august 2017) contains the 22-minute improvisation Let's Leave Rene Descartes Out Of This) performed with guitarist Nathan Moore and bassist John Edwards.

Matching Mix (october 2018) contains solo improvisations on percussion.

Nous (february 2020) contains the 25-minute Impossible Meaning, performed with Jason Yarde (alto and soprano saxes and electronics) and Nathan Moore (electric guitar and effects).

The Secret Handshake With Danger Vol 1 (march 2020) contains two long improvisations with Binker Golding (sax), Henry Kaiser and N.O. Moore (both on guitar) and London-based Olie Brice (double bass).

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