405

Derek Bailey: To Play: The Blemish Sessions

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
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 improv has given more emphasis to moods and textures, rather than standard forms of rhythm, harmony or melody. In a way, it represents a culmination of these musicians' quest for total and definite freedom, and as such, it falls into a category of its own.

In the same way, Derek Bailey's music has been generally uncategorizable. It draws from myriads of genres, and his acceptance of all genres has set him outside jazz music proper. His style of expression has always been unique, and his idiosyncratic approach makes him different from guitarists who have preceeded him.

The Blemish Sessions is a collection of solo guitar performances by Bailey, specially recorded (or improvised) for David Sylvian's record Blemish (Samadhi Sound, 2003). The title was suggested by David Toop, a longtime friend of Bailey's, and was inspired by an idea of doing a play about Bailey, within which he would have performed.

This is actually the last recording session Bailey undertook before he died on Christmas, 2005. From that session only three tracks were used in unedited form for Blemish, and only one of those tracks is present here. Sylvian booked Bailey to provide him with material that would challenge him as a vocalist. The sounds heard from Bailey's guitar are completely atonal and arrhythmic, and his approach challenges every standardized music concept. As always, its main features are total and extreme discontinuity.

The Blemish Sessions is Bailey's swan song, and although it is a presentation of extended guitar techniques, one of its great values is that it serves as a document of one guitar virtuoso's explorations of his instrument's limitless tonal capabilities. Some may discard it as pure garbage, but it's clearly evident that Bailey put his heart into this performance.

Track Listing: Play 1; Play 2; Play 3; Play 4; Play 5; Play 6; Play 7; Play 8.

Personnel: Derek Bailey: solo guitar.

Title: To Play: The Blemish Sessions | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: SamadhiSound


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Nature City" CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Henry" CD/LP/Track Review Henry
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Komorebi" CD/LP/Track Review Komorebi
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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