Marilyn Crispell / Eddie Prévost - Band on the Wall (1994)

Marilyn Crispell / Eddie Prévost - Band on the Wall

This is a summit meeting of two great improvisers, American pianist Marilyn Crispell and British drummer Eddie Prévost, that is surprisingly user friendly. I know Prévost mostly from his reputation with AMM but he sounds here like Shelly Manne gone berserk, ripping off a forest of muffled accents and bristling snare shots played with sturdy control and melodic sense. He certainly isn't Gerry Hemingway, one of Crispell's most frequent drum partners, and that changes her style a bit. You'd still never mistake her for Red Garland in a blindfold test but she plays more inside than usual. Her normal earth-rattling chords give way to fragmented bits of melody resulting in chopped up slivers of bebop and blues on 'Slow Chaser', a prand romantic feel on 'Apart' and a new ability to bring out the nobility and beauty in a melody on Denny Zeitlin's 'Quiet Now'. 'Night Moves' proves she hasn't gone soft though. It begins on an optimistic romantic phrase then slowly worries and builds into a sonic hurricane, Prévost the pattering rain to Crispell's Olympian thunder. Her long, maddened solos Marilyn Crispell on this piece are as good as I've ever heard her play. Altogether this is a playful and relaxed set with more than a hint of the cocky, tongue in cheek side of European improvising but still full of the spiritual intensity of the American brand, a noisy but lovely disc.

Jerome Wilson
Cadence Magazine July 1995

Track List
1. Opening Time
2. Slow Chaser
3. Fragments
4. Dogbolter
5. Apart, Pt. 1
6. As our Tongues Lap up the Burning Air
7. Old Thumper
8. Night Moves
9. Bishop's Finger
10. Irons
11. Quiet Now
12. Spitfire
13. Last Orders

Kaoru Abe & Hiroshi Yamazaki - Jazz Bed (1971)

abe on alto sax, yamazaki on drums. recorded live at jazz bed in ikebukuro, tokyo, on january 24, 1971. released in 1995 on PSF records.

Track List
1. Duo 1 (33:35)
2. Duo 2 (20:34)

Music Now Ensemble 1969 - Silver Pyramid (1969)

This historic recording was released in 2001 but recorded live by Bob Woolford at Music Now Festival, on May 4, 1969.

A great, lost document, Silver Pyramid fills an important gap in the history of British improvised music. Percussionist Eddie Prévost, most consistent member of improv group AMM since its founding in the early 1960s, usually heads towards completely improvised free jazz when he records on his own. Yet, it appears that participation as part of the Music Now Ensemble performance of a series of so-called contemporary classical creations in 1969, encouraged Prévost to "create" his own "composition" in that idiom. That's what this fine disc reproduces.

The quotation marks are deliberate. That's because "Silver Pyramid" is based not on a score, but a text written by Prévost and interpreted by a group that could be termed AMM plus. The almost 74 minutes that result have a similar relationship to AMM as the 1959 large group versions of Thelonious Monk's music related to the pianist's work with his quartet. Not only do the other players amplify the shape of the composition itself, but they also add their particular talents to influence the final product.

It's instructive to recall that 1969 was the height of psychedelia-influenced art rock and anyone hearing "Silver Pyramid" -- or AMM for that matter -- for the first timemay feel as if they're embarking on what was termed a musical trip. Certainly one credo that this sort of pure improv represents -- that the music is there before the band begins and continues after the group finishes -- dovetails nicely into the free-floating psychedelic experience. But the difficulty of identifying each sound source on the disc and the lack of identifiable rhythmic climaxes would probably frustrate spiritual camp followers searching for an ecstatic trance shortcut.

Instead, the album is a multi-leveled offering. Prévost can likely be heard slowly manipulating his cymbals with a violin bow, repeatedly striking a small bell and bouncing small rubber balls on the heads of his snares. Cellist Cornelius Cardew and violinist Lou Gare are conceivably responsible for the string scratching that can be heard, while tabletop guitarist Keith Rowe probably provides the steady electronic humming in the background as well the sound crescendo of consistent feedback mixed with plucked strings.

But the identity of other sounds that range from what appears to be a door being ripped off its hinges and fire engine sirens suddenly erupting are less clear. Who are the unidentified man and woman carrying on a gibberish conversation in one section, for instance? Who supplies the wordless drone in another? Who plays the piping penny whistle which floats in and out of audio range several times and where does the happy calliope sounds appear from -- the instrument itself or a prerecorded tape?

This performance sounds as old as any pioneering examination of electro-acoustics and as contemporary as any 21st century harnessing of electronics. In short, this CD is both a historical document and a fine listening experience.

By Ken Waxman of
Jazz Weekly

Luigi Nono - Complete Works For Solo Tape

Track List
1. Omaggio a Emilio Vedova (1960)
2. Musiche di scena per Ermittlung (1965)
3. Ricorda cosa ti hanno fatto in Auschwitz (1966)
4. Contrappunto dialettico alla mente (1967-68)
5. Musiche per Manzu (1969)
6. Fur Paul Dessau (1974)
7. Trasmissione RAI 21 marzo 1970: Ricorda cosa ti hanno fatto in Auschwitz
8. Trasmissione RAI 17 novembre 1968: Contrappunto dialetto alla mente