PST – Live in RomeApril 29, 2013
An unexpected release this one, a 2005 recording of the Prévost/Tilbury incarnation of AMM alongside an Italian trombonist named Giancarlo Schiaffini, released this year under the trio name PST on an Italian label that seems to primarily release DVDs featuring artists as diverse as Oscar Wilde, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie. A curious arrival then, but the forty-five minute piece here makes this one well worth tracking down. If we know how the AMM duo will sound, Schiaffini’s trombone is new to me. He is frequently active, mixing bubbling little notes and occasional swooping attacks with lighter breathy sounds and more brittle, metallically muted sections, but while his playing touches on the busier, more talkative end of improvisation he never feels too much here. If barely a minute ever passes without a contribution from Schiaffini he still leaves plenty of space throughout, and his light, non-aggresive playing is acutely fitted around Prévost and Tilbury, who are both on top form here.
AMM do what AMM do here, but this is actually a fine performance of them playing in the style I prefer- with John Tilbury playing more than the accompanist role, frequently leading the way with excursions in and out of the piano that range from the usual sudden crashes, little repeated arpeggios and unusually, at one point a section of floaty melodic clouds that overwhelm everything else. Eddie Prévost is far more restrained than later duo discs have allowed him to be, laying off the heavy use of bowed metals he has worked with over recent years and adding softer colours through struck sounds and carefully pitched tones. All together its a light, neatly structured affair that never really utilises the arcing patterns of AMM recordings. I am reminded of the Such release from years back which paired Prévost and Tilbury with the shakuhachi of Yoshikazu Iwamoto, not because the trombone here is anything like the shakuhachi but because of the way the three musicians allow light to shine through the music, building fragile weblike structures that are beautiful without ever overpowering anything. Live in Rome is an exceptionally easy and enjoyable disc to follow. Its forty five minutes seem to just fly past. This is exceptional acoustic improvisation then, beautiful, expertly crafted work and a very worthwhile addition to the collection of any AMM follower.