Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
249

Derek Bailey / Evan Parker: The London Concert

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Derek Bailey / Evan Parker: The London Concert 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The London Concert, recorded in the mid-'70s, is a historical document which preserves mature manifestations of Bailey's sound, which continues to shape British improv.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.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Psi | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

Extended Analysis
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
The Complete 15...
Tzadik
2013
buy
Various Brits: Just Not Cricket!
Various Brits: Just...
Ni Vu Ni Connu
2013
buy
[no cover]
Derek Bailey Plus One...
Tzadik
2012
buy
[no cover]
Tout Rectangle :...
Tzadik
2011
buy
[no cover]
Scrutables
Tzadik
2011
buy
[no cover]
Tout For Tea !
Tzadik
2011
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Nels Cline Nels Cline
guitar, electric
Evan Parker Evan Parker
sax, tenor
Sonny Sharrock Sonny Sharrock
guitar, electric
Fred Frith Fred Frith
guitar

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.