WIRE review of Trinity

AMM with John Butcher

AMM now seems to be the Prévost/Tilbury rump, augmented on this occasion in Greenwich by saxophonist John Butcher, his first appearance with them. So the title is a gentle pun as well as the name of the venue at Trinity College of Music. As you'd expect, Trinity is an impeccable recording. Listening hard is like looking through a zoom lens: it sucks you into the sound, letting you lose yourself within.

The performance displays a masterful control of gesture and interplay, moving from faint scritchings to overhanging wave crests of noise without warning - and indeed without seeming to transform, so much as switch directly from one state to another. Remarkably, when they really start to impose themselves as a trio, the music takes the shape of some of Giacinto Scelsi's freaked out early 60s compositions. But since he also composed by improvising, and thought in terms of sound, rather than music, perhaps that's not surprising at all.

Predictably the piano is the instrument that sounds most consistently like itself. This by no means reflects any lack of presence from Tilbury, whose notes are impeccably placed even while appearing to be tossed down like scrying bones. You can tell these players are all "in the moment", in a way that takes years of playing to achieve; and as a result if you really listen, the hour occupied by the four pieces passes without apparent duration. I can't think of higher praise.

© Bruce Russell - WIRE 302