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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Bailey & Jamie Muir: Dart Drug

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For decades as rare as hens's teeth--or should that be larks's tongues in aspic?--Dart Drug was originally released on the Incus label in 1981, and reissued on CD in 1994. In 2018 it has been remastered and rereleased on vinyl by Honest Jons. The bracing yet strangely beautiful album is one of the few recordings made by the percussionist Jamie Muir after he retired from professional music-making in 1973, first to study Buddhism in Scottish and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Bailey & Company: Klinker

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Derek Bailey and Will Gaines had already recorded together on Rappin' & Tappin' (Incus, 1994) and on the video Will (1995), so this archival session, captured live on Thursday 24 August 2000, at The Klinker in London, presents a further opportunity to hear this odd couple. Gaines was 72 at the time of this concert and the old hoofer, originally from Baltimore, had shared stages in the '50s with the likes of Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Derek Bailey // Three Presences at Cafe Oto

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Simon H. Fell, Mark Wastell, Alex WardDerek Bailey // Three Presences Cafe OtoLondon March 2, 2018 Many people will have done a double-take upon seeing this evening in the Café Oto programme. Over twelve years after the much-loved guitarist Derek Bailey died on Christmas Day 2005, he seemed to be listed as appearing at the venue. On reading the small print, it became clear that the trio IST (bassist Simon H. Fell, cellist Mark ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Craft Beer and Jazz

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As I type these words, I'm sitting here sipping on an Apricot Peach Orange Whip Mimosa Gose while listening to Derek Bailey's Improvisation LP. If you aren't aware of Bailey's work, he was a British guitarist who championed the European “free" style. All improv, all the time-with no structure to speak of. Many have argued that Bailey and his angular screech and skronk have no place in anything labeled jazz, or even music for that matter. Purists. Apricot ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Derek Bailey

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Guitarist Derek Bailey was one of the more prominent and influential musicians from the “first generation of free improvisation" that developed in London in the mid-sixties and gradually promoted the music around the world. Although several members of that generation were leaders, Bailey often seemed the de facto leader of the group. Partly, this was a consequence of his being slightly older than others, Bailey having been born in 1930, compared to Tony Oxley (1938), Trevor Watts (1939), John Stevens ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Brown: Beatbox Sax

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One man bands are something of a novelty: some guy with a half a dozen instruments (or more)--guitar, drums, harmonica--affixed to his body in various ways. Saxophonist Derek Brown blows the one man band route with just the saxophone on Beatbox Sax. The first reaction on spinning the disc, opening with Brown's original composition, “Catch 'Em Up," could understandably be: “That's not live, he's slipping in loops and salting the saxophonic sonic stew in the studio with electronics." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet: You've Got To Dig It To Dig It, You Dig?

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You've Got To Dig It To Dig It, You Dig?: not just a groovy album title, but wise words of advice. Saxophonist and bandleader Derek Nash clearly takes this advice to heart, crafting an album that's filled with eminently dig-able music. The advice that inspires Nash and his fellow players, as well as inspiring the album title and a tune of the same name, comes from Thelonious Monk. A few more of Monk's helpful hints--collected in 1960 by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sax Appeal: Funkerdeen

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Three decades since it was established, by leader and alto player Derek Nash, the UK's Sax Appeal still retains the fire and enthusiasm of youth--and a five saxophone front line that's more than capable of translating that energy into a big, bold, crowd-pleasing sound. Funkerdeen is the band's sixth album. As the title suggests, funk is to the fore, but there's also more than a hint of Latin, smooth '80s soul-jazz and a little bit of New Orleans.

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Various Brits: Just Not Cricket!

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Nash: Joyriding

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One of the strengths of the current British jazz scene comes from its core of mainstream, straight-ahead musicians, who focus their creative abilities on drawing fresh nuances from established musical styles; saxophonist Derek Nash is one of them. Joyriding features what he refers to as his “regular quartet," although that phrase does scant justice to the quality of the musicianship. Nash is a member of Jools Holland's Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, a regular presence on BBC TV ...