405

Derek Bailey: To Play: The Blemish Sessions

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Derek Bailey: To Play: The Blemish Sessions 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.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Sunshine Seas" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine Seas
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!