AMM

The Nameless Uncarved Block

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AllMusic Review by

In Ed Baxter's liner notes to this recording, he writes, "AMM exists where words fail". Indeed, AMM's steadfast avoidance of music which has any references apart from itself makes descriptive commentary a daunting task. In The Nameless Uncarved Block, however, recorded at live performances during the 1990 Taktlos Festival, the group comes as close as they've ever sounded to something resembling a free jazz unit. Partly, this is due to the inclusion of founding member Lou Gare on tenor sax. His playing here is surprisingly jazzy and seems to spur drummer Eddie Prevost into making greater use of his standard drum kit than is the case in a "normal" AMM performance. Even Keith Rowe, towards the end of the second piece, sounds unusually reminiscent of guitar iconoclast Derek Bailey. That infusion of the jazz idiom may be one reason this album, as fine as it is all around, does not quite reach the level of some of the group's best efforts (Newfoundland or The Inexhaustible Document for example). One tends to prize AMM's music the most when it exists as some timeless Other, in apparent serene isolation from any contact the existing music world.

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