RALP313 - Tom Prehn Quartet: Axiom (LP)
Limited to 500 hand numbered copies.
It will always be difficult to pinpoint where free jazz started, but it´s reasonable to say it was shaped and cultivated in New York in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Albert Ayler and Cecil Taylor were important players, as was Ornette Coleman. "Axiom" has significant historical importance by being what is quite possibly the first European free jazz record, even if it was not released at the time. Recorded in Copenhagen in October 1963, it should have been Tom Prehn Quartet´s debut album for the Sonet label. But by the time the test pressings arrived - a couple of months later - the music already sounded old to them and Sonet subsequently pulled the plug. This, in itself, is quite remarkable, knowing that they were so far ahead of their time. A few sleeves and labels had been printed but only two complete copies survived, making it one of the rarest jazz albums ever. "Axiom" is expressive, full frontal free jazz of the highest order, and to think it was created by Danish musicians, most of them barely into their twenties, in 1963, is frankly mind-boggling. On the other hand, Scandinavian audiences, especially in Denmark and Sweden, had already welcomed controversial musicians like Ayler and Taylor with open arms. They also imposed a serious impact on many local jazz musicians, the Swedish sax phenomenon Bengt "Frippe" Nordstrøm even recorded Albert Ayler, in Sweden, with Swedish musicians, for his Bird Notes label as early as in 1962 , three years before his first ESP record. Elsewhere in Europe pioneers like UK´s Spontaneous Music Ensemble would debut on record in 1966, while Germany´s Peter Brötzmann would release his first record the year after.
Needless to say, we´re very proud to release this album for the first time on vinyl.
The original sleeve has been painstakingly recreated by Kim Hiorthøy.