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The London Concert, recorded in the mid-'70s, is a historical document which preserves mature manifestations of Bailey's sound, which continues to shape British improv.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

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

The Jazz Life
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
What is Jazz?
Building a Jazz Library
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Film Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Klinker

Klinker

Confront Recordings
2018

buy
Dart Drug

Dart Drug

Honest Jons Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019