Tom Prehn Kvartet
Neither pianist Tom Prehn nor the rest of his quartet -- tenor saxophonist Fritz Krugh, bassist Paul Ehlers, and drummer Preben Vang -- are well-known to audiences outside of their homeland. Still, despite its obscurity, this 1967 album (first issued in the U.S. in 2001) is likely to interest free jazz/improvisation enthusiasts, not just for the quality of the music, but also for its relationship to the work of other, better-known avant-garde jazz outfits. The clattering, conversational opener "F. Eks" might be mistaken for the work of Alexander Von Schlippenbach's trio with Paul Lovens and Evan Parker, while "Xenia," with its floating, atonal saxophone melody, calls to mind some of Anthony Braxton's quartet work. Cecil Taylor's early-'60s trio with Sunny Murray and Jimmy Lyons is another basic reference point on a few of the tracks, even though Prehn avoids mimicking Taylor's more dense playing style. This music tends slightly toward the more cerebral end of the spectrum, but there are some more physical, aggressive moments, such as "Forloeb" and the 40-second blast "Herfra til Marathon." Since most listeners coming to this fairly obscure album via its 2001 reissue will already be familiar with many of the other musicians mentioned above, it is not going sound especially shocking or new like it once would have. Still, it does contain its share of surprises, and the fact that it stands up as well as it does when compared to the work of so many other landmark groups should be enough to recommend it to dedicated fans of the genre.
~ William York, All Music Guide