American fingerstyle improvising guitarist Duck Baker in a collection of duos and trios recorded from 1993-2004, with Derek Bailey, Cyro Baptista, Roswell Rudd, and John Zorn.
The Ducks Palace
Released in: Great Britain
Liner notes by Duck Baker:
"I met John Zorn through Eugene Chadbourne in about 1978. I was living in Philadelphia at the time, so it was easy enough to drive up to New York, find a couch to sleep on, wrestle with John's charts, check out whoever was playing in town, and rap about Herbie Nichols, Hasaan, Sonny Clark, Hal McCusick, etc. etc. I moved to England the following year but we were all still doing occasional things together for a couple of years after that. It became much more sporadic after I relocated again in '81, but John remains one of my favorite people to play music with, whenever I get the chance. He's also a favorite producer; my record of Herbie Nichols tunes, (Avant records), was his idea and as I write this we have another project in the works.
The only recording of Zorn & I playing together dates from a 1991 visit to New York, when he organized a gig for me and put himself on the bill to help the draw. I remember that John took Cyro Baptista and I to eat geflitefish in the lower east side and then we spent a couple of hours jamming at Cyro's rehearsal space before the hit, going over bop tunes we knew we wouldn't play, rather than rehearse free improvising.
While preparing for the Herbie Nichols record I got to know Roswell Rudd, who has of course been Herbie's greatest champion over the years. Roswell is like a musical anchor for me in many ways. Naturally I was a huge fan of his back in the 60's. I loved the way he played with Archie Shepp and with the New York Art Quartet, but also the fact that he was into earlier jazz styles, and even wrote an article for Downbeat about different international musical traditions. It's great to play with someone who shared the bandstand with Pee Wee Russell and Red Allen, hung with Ben Webster, and worked for folklorist Alan Lomax. Our very occasional duo has tackled a wide range of musical subjects, some of which are hinted at here.
As for Derek Bailey, I met him in 1977 or '78 and was an occasional visitor to his place in Hackney from then on. He always wanted to play a bit, which was always a pleasure, of course, but there was only one time when he decided to set up a couple of microphones and record the proceedings. The balance isn't perfect, but since this record is among the first to appear on Incus since Derek left the stage it seemed only appropriate for him to make an appearance.
I would like to thank everyone involved for helping with this record, the musicians, the people who recorded the sounds and those who helped with mastering, and most of all Karen, for getting behind the project with so much enthusiasm."-Duck Baker, Reading, Berkshire, December 2008
• Show Bio for John Zorn
"John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers".
Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone. He attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987, and Naked City in 1989. After spending almost a decade travelling between Japan and the US he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.
Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the klezmer/free jazz-influenced quartet Masada, composed over 600 pieces as part of the Masada Songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, and produced music for opera, sound installations, film and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, often performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output.
Zorn's compositions cross many genres and he has stated "All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I'm an additive person-the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can't see the connections, but they are there." For Zorn "Composing is more than just imagining music-it's knowing how to communicate it to musicians. And you don't give an improviser music that's completely written out, or ask a classical musician to improvise. I'm interested in speaking to musicians in their own languages, on their own terms, and in bringing out the best in what they do. To challenge them and excite them." "-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zorn)
^ Hide Bio for John Zorn
• Show Bio for Derek Bailey
"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.
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))
^ Hide Bio for Derek Bailey
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
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Catalog ID: INCUS 059CD
Squidco Product Code: 12213
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Tracks 1 and 5 recorded at The Knitting Factory New York on March 16th, 1993. Tracks 2, 4 and 6 recorded in London on July 4th, 2002. Track 3 recorded at The Outpost Alberquerque on March 28th, 2004. Track 7 recorded at Tonic New York on January 5th, 2002 by Ben Young.
John Zorn-alto saxophone
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1. Improv 1. wih John Zorn & Cyro Baptista 10:27
2. Improv 2. with Derek Bailey 7:30
3. "The Blues" 3. with Roswell Rudd 12:50
4. Improv 4. with Derek Bailey 5:03
5. Improv 5. with John Zorn & Cyro Baptista 12:08
6. Improv 6. with Derek Bailey 5:43
7. Pavement Blues 7. with Roswell Rudd 3:31