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Derek Bailey on electric and acoustic guitar with drummer (and mini-trumpeter) John Stevens in beautifully recorded '92 sessions of dynamic and subtle interaction.

Bailey, Derek / John Stevens

Bailey, Derek / John Stevens: Playing (Incus)
Label: Incus    
Released in: Great Britain    

"This lovely duet between avant guitar kingpin Derek Bailey and drummer/trumpet player John Stevens is a fine example of what Bailey was up to in the early '90s, before he discovered drum'n'bass and Bill Laswell, among other things. While the date is, as usual, completely improvised, relying more on nuance, texture, and timing than tonality, subtle timbral studies are evident, particularly in the middle of the recording on "Ping Pong" (where Bailey forgoes the electric guitar entirely and concentrates instead on the refracted timbres of an acoustic, and Stevens mutes his trumpet and plays percussion with his other hand in the exact center of spaces Bailey vacates. Also, "360," which starts out on electric, screaming and plunking so that the dials record in the red, shifts mid-track to an acoustic as the center of Stevens' percussion moves entirely away from drums to small instruments and then back to the auditory overload of the electric. Unlike a lot of Bailey's recordings before and after, Playing is also recorded very well in a space that allows every vibration to be heard plainly, creating for the listener an awesome dynamic expanse. Droll, funny, and good-natured, Playing is just what the doc ordered for the "need some improv" blues. This may be just your run-of-the-mill Derek Bailey album, it's true, but think about what that says. How many of the current crop of young whips would give their fingers to record one album as fine as "a typical Derek Bailey record." "-Thom Jurek, All Music

See all items in the Incus category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Bailey, Derek
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Duo Recordings

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Price: $17.95
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

Label: Incus
Catalog ID: INCUS 014CD
Squidco Product Code: 11519

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1993
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel tray, not sealed.
Recorded August 14, 1992 at the Watershed Studios, London by Richie Stevens.


John Stevens-drums, mini-trumpet

Derek Bailey-electric guitar, acoustic guitar

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Track Listing:

1. Sometimes Dust Coup 7:12

2. After Ending 1:56

3. Reflecters 5:30

4. Ping Pong 5:30

5. D Baby 2:55

6. Wallop 0:49

7. 360° 2:55

8. The Instance 2:47

9. Playing 15:48