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Bailey, Derek

Solo Guitar Vol. 2

Bailey, Derek: Solo Guitar Vol. 2 (Incus)

Twenty years after recording his classic LP "Solo Guitar", guitar improviser and legend Derek Bailey sat down again to record these seven tracks, pure Bailey in his idiosyncratic and non-idiomatic approach to free improvisation, a style that has influenced generations and left a recording legacy sure to influence generations more to come.

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Derek Bailey-guitar

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Label: Incus
Catalog ID: CD11
Squidco Product Code: 4954

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1992
Country: UK
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded on the 22nd of June 1991 at approximately the times indicated.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Twenty years after recording his classic Solo Guitar, Bailey sat down again to commit seven tracks to wax. He's at his best solo, and this is the best of one of those. Y'know?"-Incus

"In his liner notes to this disc, extracted from his book on improvisation, British guitarist Derek Bailey writes, "...maintaining solo playing which remains meaningful as improvisation is an elusive business, not least because the easier it becomes to perform solo the harder it becomes to improvise solo...." Bailey's insistence on "non-idiomatic improvisation" requires not only that he not fall into patterns derived from other musical forms, but that he also not be trapped in his own habits or ruts -- a tall order indeed. Guitarist/composer Jim O'Rourke has noted that even high-level free improvisation tends to generate its own recognizable sound-world so that one might, say, immediately identify a Evan Parker piece and predict, to some extent, its structure and anticipate its musical elements. While Bailey's style is easily recognized, he has shown a remarkable ability to wring not only altogether new sounds from the guitar, but to invent entirely new approaches to individual improvisations.

Solo Guitar, Vol. 2 is one of Bailey's most successful recordings and a shining example of his extraordinary imagination and integrity. The pieces, titled only for the clock time at which they were recorded, are utterly assured even while venturing into territory that no one else has explored. Bailey seems incapable of not having a wealth of ideas at his fingertips. Think of it as being in the company of a master conversationalist, telling stories the likes of which you've never heard before. This is Derek Bailey, one of the finest storytellers around."-Brian Olewnick, All Music

Get additional information at All Music

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 (

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Track Listing:

1. Ten 10 17:08

2. Ten 28 6:33

3. Two 50 6:28

4. Two 57 3:25

5. Three 4:04

6. Three 05 2:44

7. Three 08 1:21

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Guitarists, &c.
Solo Artist Recordings
Bailey, Derek
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