In the 1972 Monty Python Flying Circus skit Are You Embarrassed," the announcer reads the lines, Are you embarrassed easily? I am. But it's nothing to worry about; it's all part of growing up and being British." The announcer goes on to describe embarrassing words like Shoe" ..... Megaphone" ..... Grunties," to test the listener's discomfort level. Somehow, even though the words spoken (in English) by the troupe were in a common language, the humor was quite alien to American ...read more
Barcelona Chronicles is the collective title for two Incus DVDs and one CD which document guitarist Derek Bailey playing on three occasions in Barcelona between February 2004 and May 2005. Bailey had moved there from Hackney, London, in 2003. During the spring of 2004, he began experiencing muscular difficulties; in June 2004 he dropped his plectrum during a solo performance. He was initially wrongly diagnosed as having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In August 2005, he was diagnosed as having Motor Neuron ...read more
In 2002 Bailey released one of his most unusual CDs, Ballads (Tzadik), a solo performance with him freely improvising on standards. This is a second installment, though this recording actually precedes Ballads. Liner notes by Karen Brookman-Bailey and John Zorn recall Christmas 2001: The Baileys--Derek in New York to pick up a new guitar--invited Zorn and Ikue Mori to their suite for dinner. During the evening, Bailey took out the vintage Epiphone Emperor (an oversized acoustic archtop designed for big ...read more
The world is a bit lonelier now that guitarist Derek Bailey has passed away. The freedom his music allowed is, or should be, a model to every musician and listener interested in the creative process.
This signature album, Standards, follows the 2002 Tzadik Records release of the infamous Ballads sessions, but was in fact recorded before those tracks. The liner notes reveal that these seven standards were made at the request of fellow musician and label head John Zorn after ...read more
This looks like a cheaply produced bootleg--shoddy black and white cover, with no information other than personnel, track titles and the enigmatic line, Turin, 2000. But--and it's a big but--the music is well recorded and sounds genuine; it sounds like these five were actually playing together, something that's hard to fake, no matter how good the editing.
It is easy to speculate how this meeting came about. Derek Bailey had played with Keiji Haino before and also recorded with Pat ...read more
Much has been discussed and said about improvisation in every form. In its search for freedom from conventional and standard forms, improvised music has gone into all kinds of directions. The results cannot be described in conventional terms, since musicians headed this direction have done everything they can to subvert and discard the principles of music theory. While free jazz, which has been associated with free improv, has often remained anchored by using licks to structure the improvised material, free ...read more
By Ken Waxman
The London Concert, recorded in the mid-'70s, is a historical document which preserves mature manifestations of Bailey's sound, which continues to shape British improv. The Psi reissue adds thirty-odd minutes to the previously released 1975 LP version on the Incus label, boosting its length to more than 69 minutes. Still in their honeymoon period, Bailey and Evan Parker offered both solo and duo material, with the reedman playing soprano and tenor saxophones and Bailey playing a stereo ...read more
In 1977, suffering complications from a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body, Rahsaan Roland Kirk made his way to Regent Sound Studios in New York to record what would become his final album, Boogie Woogie String Along For Real. Having long since devised a way to play saxophone with one hand (the technique he used to play three or more at once), Kirk had been able to find a way to play again, despite the limitations of ...read more