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Music Improvisation Company, The (Bailey / Parker / Davies / Muir) : 1969, 1970 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

An impressive lineup of legendary players in this much-need reissue of guitarist Derek Bailey's 1976 Music Improvisation Company album 1968-1971", exploring innovative free and electroacoustic improvisation in these 1969 & 1970 recordings with Evan Parker on soprano saxophone & amplified auto harp, Hugh Davies on live electronics & organ, and Jamie Muir on percussion.
 

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product information:


UPC: 769791975071

Label: Honest Jons Records
Catalog ID: HJR 209LP
Squidco Product Code: 28227

Format: 2 LPS
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: Double LP in a Gatefold Sleeve
Side A and B recorded in London, England, on July 4th, 1969.

Side C and D recorded in in London, England on June 18th, 1970, by Bob Woolford. Originally released on LP on the Incus label in 1976 as catalog code INCUS 17.


Personnel:

Derek Bailey-guitar

Evan Parker-soprano saxophone, amplified auto harp

Hugh Davies-live electronics, organ

Jamie Muir-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Derek Bailey (29 January 1930 - 25 December 2005) was an English avant-garde guitarist and leading figure in the free improvisation movement.

Bailey was born in Sheffield, England. A third-generation musician, he began playing the guitar at the age of ten, initially studying music with his teacher and Sheffield City organist C. H. C. Biltcliffe, an experience that he did not enjoy, and guitar with his uncle George Wing and John Duarte. As an adult he worked as a guitarist and session musician in clubs, radio, dance hall bands, and so on, playing with many performers including Morecambe and Wise, Gracie Fields, Bob Monkhouse and Kathy Kirby, and on television programs such as Opportunity Knocks. Bailey's earliest foray into 'what could be called free improvised music' was in 1953 with two other guitarists in their shared flat in Glasgow. He was also part of a Sheffield-based trio founded in 1963 with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars called "Joseph Holbrooke" (named after the composer, whose work they never actually played). Although originally performing relatively "conventional" modal, harmonic jazz this group became increasingly free in direction.

Bailey moved to London in 1966, frequenting the Little Theatre Club run by drummer John Stevens. Here he met many other like-minded musicians, such as saxophonist Evan Parker, trumpet player Kenny Wheeler and double bass player Dave Holland. These players often collaborated under the umbrella name of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, recording the seminal album Karyobin for Island Records in 1968. In this year Bailey also formed the Music Improvisation Company with Parker, percussionist Jamie Muir and Hugh Davies on homemade electronics, a project that continued until 1971. He was also a member of the Jazz Composer's Orchestra and Iskra 1903, a trio with double-bass player Barry Guy and tromboneist Paul Rutherford that was named after a newspaper published by the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.

In 1970, Bailey founded the record label Incus with Tony Oxley, Evan Parker and Michael Walters. It proved influential as the first musician-owned independent label in the UK. Oxley and Walters left early on; Parker and Bailey continued as co-directors until the mid-1980s, when friction between the men led to Parker's departure. Bailey continued the label with his partner Karen Brookman until his death in 2005[citation needed].

Along with a number of other musicians, Bailey was a co-founder of Musics magazine in 1975. This was described as "an impromental experivisation arts magazine" and circulated through a network of like-minded record shops, arguably becoming one of the most significant jazz publications of the second half of the 1970s, and instrumental in the foundation of the London Musicians Collective.

1976 saw Bailey instigate Company, an ever-changing collection of like-minded improvisors, which at various times has included Anthony Braxton, Tristan Honsinger, Misha Mengelberg, Lol Coxhill, Fred Frith, Steve Beresford, Steve Lacy, Johnny Dyani, Leo Smith, Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Kaiser, John Zorn, Buckethead and many others. Company Week, an annual week-long free improvisational festival organised by Bailey, ran until 1994.

In 1980, he wrote the book Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice. This was adapted by UK's Channel 4 into a four-part TV series in the early '90s, edited and narrated by Bailey.

Bailey died in London on Christmas Day, 2005. He had been suffering from motor neurone disease."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bailey_(guitarist))
11/11/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined "my choice of everything". In 1962 he went to Birmingham University to study botany but a trip to New York, where he heard the Cecil Taylor trio (with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray), prompted a change of mind. What he heard was "music of a strength and intensity to mark me for life ... l came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music - 'free jazz' they called it then."

Parker stayed in Birmingham for a time, often playing with pianist Howard Riley. In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. Parker remained in SME through various fluctuating line-ups - at one point it comprised a duo of Stevens and himself - but the late 1960s also saw him involved in a number of other fruitful associations.

He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. (Tony Oxley, in whose sextet Parker was then playing, was a third co-founder; Parker left Incus in the mid-1980s.) Another important connection was with the bassist Peter Kowald who introduced Parker to the German free jazz scene. This led to him playing on Peter Brötzmann's 1968 Machine Gun, Manfred Schoof's 1969 European Echoes and, in 1970, joining pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens in the former's trio, of which he is still a member: their recordings include Pakistani Pomade, Three Nails Left, Detto Fra Di Noi, Elf Bagatellen and Physics.

Parker pursued other European links, too, playing in the Pierre Favre Quartet (with Kowald and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer) and in the Dutch Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The different approaches to free jazz he encountered proved both a challenging and a rewarding experience. He later recalled that the German musicians favoured a "robust, energy-based thing, not to do with delicacy or detailed listening but to do with a kind of spirit-raising, a shamanistic intensity. And l had to find a way of surviving in the heat of that atmosphere ... But after a while those contexts became more interchangeable and more people were involved in the interactions, so all kinds of hybrid musics came out, all kinds of combinations of styles."

A vital catalyst for these interactions were the large ensembles in which Parker participated in the 1970s: Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) and occasional big bands led by Kenny Wheeler. In the late 70s Parker also worked for a time in Wheeler's small group, recording Around Six and, in 1980, he formed his own trio with Guy and LJCO percussionist Paul Lytton (with whom he had already been working in a duo for nearly a decade). This group, together with the Schlippenbach trio, remains one of Parker's top musical priorities: their recordings include Tracks, Atlanta, Imaginary Values, Breaths and Heartbeats, The Redwood Sessions and At the Vortex. In 1980, Parker directed an Improvisers Symposium in Pisa and, in 1981, he organised a special project at London's Actual Festival. By the end of the 1980s he had played in most European countries and had made various tours to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ln 1990, following the death of Chris McGregor, he was instrumental in organising various tributes to the pianist and his fellow Blue Notes; these included two discs by the Dedication Orchestra, Spirits Rejoice and lxesa.

Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. Parker's first solo recordings, made in 1974, were reissued on the Saxophone Solos CD in 1995; more recent examples are Conic Sections and Process and Reality, on the latter of which he does, for the first time, experiment with multi-tracking. Heard alone on stage, few would disagree with writer Steve Lake that "There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert."

While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski; he has written knowledgeably about various ethnic musics in Resonance magazine. A relatively new field of interest for Parker is improvising with live electronics, a dialogue he first documented on the 1990 Hall of Mirrors CD with Walter Prati. Later experiments with electronics in the context of larger ensembles have included the Synergetics - Phonomanie III project at Ullrichsberg in 1993 and concerts by the new EP2 (Evan Parker Electronic Project) in Berlin, Nancy and at the 1995 Stockholm Electronic Music Festival where Parker's regular trio improvised with real-time electronics processed by Prati, Marco Vecchi and Phillip Wachsmann. "Each of the acoustic instrumentalists has an electronic 'shadow' who tracks him and feeds a modified version of his output back to the real-time flow of the music."

The late 80s and 90s brought Parker the chance to play with some of his early heroes. He worked with Cecil Taylor in small and large groups, played with Coltrane percussionist Rashied Ali, recorded with Paul Bley: he also played a solo set as support to Ornette Coleman when Skies of America received its UK premiere in 1988. The same period found Parker renewing his acquaintance with American colleagues such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy and George Lewis, with all of whom he had played in the 1970s (often in the context of London's Company festivals). His 1993 duo concert with Braxton moved John Fordham in The Guardian to raptures over "saxophone improvisation of an intensity, virtuosity, drama and balance to tax the memory for comparison".

Parker's 50th birthday in 1994 brought celebratory concerts in several cities, including London, New York and Chicago. The London performance, featuring the Parker and Schlippenbach trios, was issued on a highly-acclaimed two-CD set, while participants at the American concerts included various old friends as well as more recent collaborators in Borah Bergman and Joe Lovano. The NYC radio station WKCR marked the occasion by playing five days of Parker recordings. 1994 also saw the publication of the Evan Parker Discography, compiled by ltalian writer Francesco Martinelli, plus chapters on Parker in books on contemporary musics by John Corbett and Graham Lock.

Parker's future plans involve exploring further possibilities in electronics and the development of his solo music. They also depend to a large degree on continuity of the trios, of the large ensembles, of his more occasional yet still long-standing associations with that pool of musicians to whose work he remains attracted. This attraction, he explained to Coda's Laurence Svirchev, is attributable to "the personal quality of an individual voice". The players to whom he is drawn "have a language which is coherent, that is, you know who the participants are. At the same time, their language is flexible enough that they can make sense of playing with each other ... l like people who can do that, who have an intensity of purpose." "

-Evan Parker Website (http://evanparker.com/biography.php)
11/11/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Hugh Seymour Davies (23 April 1943 - 1 January 2005) was a musicologist, composer, and inventor of experimental musical instruments.

Davies was born in Exmouth, Devon, England. After attending Westminster School, he studied music at Worcester College, Oxford from 1961 to 1964. Shortly after he travelled to Cologne, Germany to work for Karlheinz Stockhausen as his personal assistant. For two years, he assembled and documented material for Stockhausen's compositions and was a member of his live ensemble.

From 1968 to 1971 Davies played in The Music Improvisation Company. The group's guitarist Derek Bailey later wrote that "the live electronics served to extend the music both forwards and backwards (...) Davies helped to loosen what had been, until his arrival, a perhaps too rarified approach". He was also a member of the group Gentle Fire, active from 1968 to 1975, which specialised in the realisation of indeterminate and mobile scores, as well as verbally formulated intuitive-music compositions (such as Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen) and in the performance of its own Group Compositions.

Davies invented musical instruments that he constructed from household items. Among them was the shozyg, a generic name he used for any instrument housed inside an unusual container. The name is derived from the first of such instruments, which was housed inside the final volume of an encyclopaedia (covering the subjects from SHO- to ZYG-).

From the 1960s onwards Davies made very significant contributions to the documentation of electronic music history, and in 1968 published a catalogue in which he listed - ostensibly - all the works of electronic music ever composed worldwide. It has been argued that, through his research and documentation, Davies characterised electronic music for the first time as a truly international, interdisciplinary field.

Davies was also a member of the Artist Placement Group during the mid-1970s.

Davies was the founder and first Director of the Electronic Music Studios at Goldsmiths, University of London from 1968 to 1986 and was subsequently a researcher there until 1991.

Davies had been a part-time Researcher and Lecturer in Sonic Art at the Centre for Electronic Arts, Middlesex University, London from 1999 until the end of his life."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Davies_(composer))
11/11/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Jamie Muir (born in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a Scottish painter and former percussionist, best known for his work in King Crimson.

Muir attended the Edinburgh College of Art during the 1960s, and began playing jazz on trombone before settling on percussion.

After moving to London, Muir worked with choreographer Lindsay Kemp, and was active in free improvisation, recording, and performing with Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in The Music Improvisation Company from 1968-1971. Muir used various found objects as part of his percussion repertoire. He spoke of "approach[ing] the rubbish with a total respect for its nature as rubbish", and that "The way to discover the undiscovered in performing terms is to immediately reject all situations as you identify them (the cloud of unknowing) - which is to give music a future". During this period he also played in the band Boris with Don Weller and Jimmy Roche (both later of jazz-rock band Major Surgery) and put in a stint with Afro-rock band Assagai in which he met keyboard player Alan Gowen. Muir and Gowen subsequently formed the experimental jazz-rock band Sunship with guitarist Allan Holdsworth and bass player Laurie Baker, although Muir has admitted that "we spent more time laughing than playing music" and suggests that the band played no gigs and got no further than rehearsals.

Muir was a member of King Crimson from mid-1972 to early 1973. With King Crimson, Muir occasionally played a standard drum kit, but more often he contributed an assortment of unusual sounds from a wide variety of percussion instruments, including chimes, bells, thumb piano, mbiras, a musical saw, shakers, rattles, found objects, and miscellaneous drums. Muir initially appeared on a single King Crimson album, 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic. Several live recordings featuring Muir have been released later by DGM records; the 15-CD box set released in 2012 for the 40th anniversary of the album includes every recording from that line-up, be it live or studio, documenting everything Muir has ever contributed. King Crimson violinist/keyboardist David Cross reports that "We all learned an incredible amount from Jamie. He really was a catalyst of this band in the beginning and he opened up new areas for Bill [Bill Bruford, the group's "conventional" drummer] to look into as well as affecting the rest of us."

In 1972 Muir decided to pursue a monastic lifestyle, in accordance with the strict principles of Buddhism. He left King Crimson abruptly in early 1973 and moved to Samye Ling Monastery near Eskdalemuir in southern Scotland. He had just completed his contribution to Larks' Tongues, released subsequent to his departure. The British Press at the time attributed his decision as the result of "personal injury sustained onstage during performance", a phrase attributed to the band's management company, E'G.

Jamie Muir also showed Yes's Jon Anderson about Paramahansa Yogananda's works during the wedding reception of the previous Yes drummer Bill Bruford, which ultimately led up to influencing the album Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes, based on the Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi.

In 1980, Muir returned to the London music scene, recording with Evan Parker and Derek Bailey. He was also on the soundtrack of the film Ghost Dance, a collaboration with another Crimson alumnus, drummer Michael Giles and David Cunningham recorded in 1983, and eventually released in 1996.

Muir has since withdrawn completely from the music business and now devotes his energies to painting."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Muir)
11/11/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


SIDE A



1. Pointing (7:10)

2. Untitled 3 (6:32)

SIDE B



1. Untitled 4 (4:09)

2. Bedrest (7:37)

SIDE C



1. Its Tongue Trapped to the Rock by a Limpet the Water Rat Succumbed to the Incoming Tide (9:01)

SIDE D



1. In the Victim's Absence (10:33)
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Though music journalists made a big deal recently about the release of a 1965 rehearsal tape by Derek Bailey's Joseph Holbrooke trio with Gavin Bryars and Tony Oxley, those early efforts were mere tentative steps along a cliff edge wearing a line safely attached to Coltrane. There's still a whiff of jazz to Bailey and Parker's work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble up to and including 1968's Karyobin.

But with the addition of Jamie Muir - the first great free improvising percussionist who didn't start out as a jazz drummer - and the way-leftfield electronics of Hugh Davies, the MIC leapt right off that cliff.

These six tracks - tight, electric, pointillistic, brilliant, uncompromising and exhilarating - sound like nothing else that came before.

In a word, seminal."-Honest Jon's Records

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quartet Recordings
Bailey, Derek
Parker, Evan
Jazz Reissues
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


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At 80 [3 CDs / 80 page book]
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Inference
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
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The Village
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Parker, Evan / Matthew Wright / Trance Map+
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Parker, Evan / Kinetics (Anderskove / Melbye / Vestergaard)
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Chadbourne, Eugene / Cat Jammers
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Chadbourne, Eugene / Cat Jammers
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Kaucic, Zlatko (w/ Evan Parker, Agusti Fernandez, Rafal Mazur, Lotte Anger, Artun Majewski, Phil Minton, Johannes Bauer)
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Bailey, Derek / Vertrek Ensemble
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Van Hove, Fred
At 80 [3 CDs / 80 page book]
(Dropa Disc)
Parker, Evan / Lotte Anker / Torben Snekkestad
Inference
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
Morris, Joe / Evan Parker
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(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
Parker, Evan / Matthew Wright / Trance Map+
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Parker, Evan / Kinetics (Anderskove / Melbye / Vestergaard)
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Chadbourne, Eugene / Cat Jammers
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Diversity [5 CD BOX SET]
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Cherry, Don / Marion Brown / Evan Parker / John Stevens
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(Clean Feed)
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Parker, Evan / Pat Thomas / John Russell / John Edwards / Alex Ward / Alison Blunt / Benedict Taylor / David Leahy / Kay Grant
Mopomoso Tour 2013 | Making Rooms [4 CD BOX SET]
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Chadbourne, Eugene
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Supersession [REMASTERED, REPACKAGED, ADDITIONAL TEXT]
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Chadbourne, Eugene
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