All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

249

Derek Bailey / Evan Parker: The London Concert

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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The London Concert, recorded in the mid-'70s, is a historical document which preserves mature manifestations of Bailey's sound, which continues to shape British improv.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 guitar with volume pedals, as well as a modified nineteen-string guitar.

Despite the hardware, there are no signs of prog rock, electronica or—as Bailey would probably insist dogmatically—jazz. That's open to debate, but what is noticeable in this context is how each of the eight tracks seems to be moderate and unhurried. There's no mistaking Bailey's plinking, slightly flattish tone and attack, whether he's using the so-called stereo guitar or the nineteen-string mutant.

"Part 1," for example, is almost fifteen minutes of constant plectrum plink and plucks intersected by masticated curt note patterns and duck squawks from Parker's soprano. As the piece develops, so do the saxophonist's jagged snaps, slurs and smears, while the guitarist's steady rhythmic guitar fills include additional vibrations. With the pedals allowing him to play an unusual vibrating pulsation, Bailey's contrapuntal display is matched by trills within the body tube, shrill pennywhistle tones and undulating columns of colored air from Parker's axe.

Seemingly mumbling to himself and evidentially concentrating on what rhythm can be constructed by stroking strings on the guitar neck, the guitarist leaves space for Parker to buzz his reed and bubble lip forms. For the finale, the reedist contorts his snarls to a legato tone, then showcases his characteristic circular breathing as Bailey plucks away.

Although thirty years later it may sound standardized, this duo performance is invested with the novelty and excitement of musical discovery, and it should attract anyone who desires a deeper insight into the musical currents of those times.


Track Listing: First half solo; Part 1; 1A; 2; 2A; Second half solos; Part 3; 4.

Personnel: Evan Parker: soprano, tenor saxophone; Derek Bailey: stereo guitar, modified nineteen-string guitar.

Title: The London Concert | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Psi

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Into a Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into a Myth
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by John Kelman
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Butterfly" CD/LP/Track Review Butterfly
by Chris May
Published: April 8, 2018
Read "Point and Line" CD/LP/Track Review Point and Line
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 7, 2017