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A much-needed reissue of Derek Bailey's 1978 2-CD Japanese release on the Morgue label, the first disc a series of studio improvisations and the second presenting two live performances in Nagoya and Kalavinka.
 

Bailey, Derek
New Sights, Old Sounds [2 CDs]

Bailey, Derek: New Sights, Old Sounds [2 CDs] (Incus)
Label: Incus    
Released in: Great Britain    


"Recorded and originally issued in Japan in 1978, the contents of this two-disc set quickly became something of a collector's item as the album quickly went out of print. Happily, the master tapes were reacquired for release on Incus in 2002, providing further documentation of a rich portion of Derek Bailey's long career. The solo sessions here date from right around the same time as his collaborations with the cream of the Japanese jazz avant-garde that were released on the DIW disc Duo + Trio Improvisations, and the music is within the same general sphere. But solo Bailey is often revelatory and, arguably, the clearest path toward understanding his conception.

Here, listeners find him about midway between the spikier, more "insectile" music of the late '60s and early '70s as heard on his first solo album and in contexts like the Music Improvisation Company and the somewhat mellower (though no less intense) tack he would follow beginning in the late '80s. Perhaps it was due to an influence from the country where these recording took place, but several of the selections find Bailey taking the utmost care about exactly where he was "placing" the notes into sonic space, not unlike rocks in a Japanese garden. Indeed, in cuts like "Nothing So Difficult as a Beginning" (titles courtesy of Lord Byron), one can hear anticipations of the future work of guitarists like Taku Sugimoto.

Disc one is a series of studio improvisations and disc two a pair of live performances. The expansiveness and intuitive sense of the overall arc of the piece displayed on the latter disc are very impressive; no matter what the length of a given improv, he never seems to play too long or cut things off too short. He even takes advantage of a bit of (inadvertent?) feedback hum to indulge in some quasi-flamenco playing on "Live in Kalavinka"! Both sets are primo Bailey, making New Sights, Old Sounds a necessary purchase for aficionados."-Brian Olewnick, All Music



"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))
2/25/2017





See all items in the Incus category



Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Bailey, Derek
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Solo Artist Recordings


Get additional information at All Music



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Product Information:

Label: Incus
Catalog ID: CD48/49
Squidco Product Code: 16606

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Disc 1 was recorded on May 5th, 1978 at Betty Studio in Tokyo, Japan by Tsutomu Suto. On disc 2, tracks 1 and 2 were recorded on April 21st, 1978 at Meien-Kaikan in Nagoya, Japan by Tsutomu Suto; track 3 was recorded on May 3rd, 1978 at Kalavinka, Machida in Japan by Tsutomu Suto.

Personnel:

Derek Bailey-acoustic guitar, electric guitar

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Track Listing:

CD 1: New Sights, Old Sounds

1. New Sights, Old Sounds 19:00

2. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness 9:22

3. This Is The Age Of Oddities Let Loose 3:14

4. Nothing So Difficult As A Beggining 4:54

5. Here Was No Lack Of Innocent Diversion 3:00

6. A Wanderer From The British World Of Fashion 3:12

CD 2: Solo Live

1. Live In Nagoya, part 1 17:01

2. Live In Nagoya, part 2 12:51

3. Live In Kalavinka 20:35