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Jazz Journal

Meetings with Remarkable Saxophonists

Volume 2 mrcd83
John Butcher/Guillaume Viltard/Eddie Prévost

Vol 3 mrcd86
Jason Yarde.Oli Hayhurst/Eddie Prévost

Vol 4 mrcd88
Bertrand Denzler/John Edwards/Eddie Prévost

The release of volume 4 completes the projected set of CDs documenting a series of concerts Prévost organised at the Network Theatre, secreted beneath London's Waterloo. On volume one he was joined by John Edwards and Evan Parker: I awarded that disc five starts in JJ 08.12

Perhaps the most intriguing prospect is volume 3 since Yarde and Hayhurst are primarily associated with more conventionally structured jazz contexts. They sound entirely at ease in this free environment. (And this and the Denzler session remind us that the borders between free jazz and improv is not strictly policed.) Both had previously played with Prévost, but had not worked with each other until this session. Growing from beatless, soaring harmonics, Yarde's lines coalesc into driving post-Ornettte neo-bop before visiting various other parts of the jazz and improv realm. Yarde negotiates changes of mood, tempo, attack and texture with considerable panache, coherence and architectural integrity.

Butcher is known for his fascination with the character of sounds and produces them from the saxophones by every conceivable method (and a couple of inconceivable ones) without sounding gimmicky or pointlessly experimental. Even by his standards, All But is an astounding journey of exploration in which he conjures vision after marvellous vision, admirably paced by Viltard.

I'm unfamiliar with Denzler, a member of the French group Hubbub. All-in-All makes me want to investigate him and them further. Of the three trios, this is arguably the least spectacular, though not lacking in intensity and Edwards is, as ever, an impressive presence.

And Prévost? I've said it before and expect to say it again: as well as an extraordinarily responsive, imaginative, highly musical drummer, he is a brilliant facilitator (both as organiser and percussionist) and a stimulating, provocative thinker, evidenced yet again by the notes to these CDs.

Barry Witherden — Jazz Journal November 2013