Sunday, September 21, 2008
Partially to assuage the distaste of those regular readers towards the Curran and Cuypers pix, but mostly because I'm utterly enjoying wallowing in this. Been listening to The Inexahustible Document several times over the past few days. Always loved it, of course, but wallowing in the sucker is almost too pleasurable.
It appeared about three years after AMM's previous release, "Combine + Laminates" (Treatise '84 being appended for the CD reissue) and was the first recorded example of the trio playing with a guest, Rohan de Saram. Hard to say whether it was de Saram's presence (or simply the fact of four musicians) or a leap in the intervening years (or both), but at least as far as recorded material goes, this was the first time all the dross accumulated from the 70s diaspora (Amalgam and PLO in Rowe's case, Prevost/Gare, Supersession, the Japo release) has been entirely shed. I'd been interested in listening to C+L and Generative Themes how the vestiges of those approaches could still be picked up; not throughout, but often enough. As a complete document, this is the first time in some 15 or more years AMM attained the kind of "heights" they achieved in the late 60s (The Crypt), although oriented in another direction entirely, one much more attuned to contemporary classical (not just due to de Saram). His work here, relatively conservative though it is in terms of technique and an often near-Romantic approach, also seems to free Tilbury to investigate deeper, darker areas. As much as Prevost reins in his jazzier tendency--which he does magnificently here--Rowe's just astonishing in his reticence, really signalling toward later concerns. Great, great stuff.
As relaxing and, consequently, work-inducing as it is out here in Montauk, half of me is missing being in Japan for the Amplify fest which, per reports on IHM and a couple of mails from Keith, seems to have resulted in some rather good music thus far.