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Baker, Duck: The Ducks Palace (Incus)

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.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Duck Baker-guitar

John Zorn-alto saxophone

Cyro Baptista-percussion

Roswell Rudd-trombone

Derek Bailey-guitar


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Label: Incus
Catalog ID: CD59
Squidco Product Code: 12213

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
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.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

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


Artist Biographies

"Duck Baker is one of the most highly regarded fingerstyle guitarists of his generation. He is unique among jazz guitarists in that his repertoire spans the entire history of the music from ragtime through swing to modern masters like Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols to free improvisation. Baker's devotion to American music also encompasses more traditional forms like blues, gospel, and Appalachian music and its Scots-Irish ancestry. This catholicism has been likened to Europeans who perform the classical repertoire from renaissance through to modern music.

Duck was born Richard R. Baker IV in 1949 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He passed his teenage years playing in rock and blues bands before becoming interested in acoustic blues. Local ragtime pianist Buck Evans was a major influence on Baker's evolution. By the time he moved to San Francisco in the early seventies, he was performing the wide range of material heard on his first record for the Kicking Mule label, "There's Something for Everyone in America". In addition to developing his solo style, Baker joined a bluegrass band and immersed himself in the local swing jazz scene, forming a duo with guitarist Thom Keats and performing with such Bay Area luminaries as Burt Bales and Robin Hodes. Baker remains active in this music, leading a trio with guitarist Bob Wilson and fiddler Tony Marcus.

In the late seventies, Baker recorded four more records for Kicking Mule, including two devoted to jazz and the first solo guitar record of Irish and Scottish music. He also began touring as a soloist, traveling throughout North America, Western Europe, and Australia. He eventually moved to Europe where he was based for nine years before returning to San Francisco in 1987. It was also in the late seventies that Baker became associated with the free music scene, performing with musicians like Eugene Chadbourne and John Zorn in New York and Bruce Ackley and Henry Kaiser in San Francisco. His associations in the 90's included the highly regarded Irish fiddler, Kieran Fahy, and the great traditional singer, Molly Andrews. As of 2002 he is involved in several other duos: with trombone master Roswell Rudd, bassist Mark Dresser, and guitarists Jamie Findlay, Woody Mann and Ken Emerson. He also leads a trio which includes violinist Carla Kihlstedt and clarinetist Ben Goldberg.

Baker's solo recordings since 1980 have for the most part focused on his own compositions, which reflect the influence of the great jazz pianist/composers like Monk, Nichols, Randy Weston, etc. His pieces have been recorded by various other guitarists, as well as Irish and American traditionalists and modern jazzmen.His most ambitious record, "Spinning Song", which is devoted to the music of Herbie Nichols, got rave reviews in Jazz Times, Cadence, Coda, and the New York Times, and helped establish Baker as an important voice in the world of fingerstyle jazz guitar. Various critics named "Spinning Song" among the best jazz records of 1997 in Cadence and Coda magazines, and it placed high on the Cadence reader's poll of that year. Acoustic Guitar magazine dubbed it "one of the best guitar records ever recorded - by anybody." "

-Duck Baker Website (https://duckbaker.com/biography/)
4/17/2024

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

"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)
4/17/2024

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

"Cyro Baptista (born December 23, 1950) is a Brazilian musician, teacher, and recording artist specializing in percussion in the genres of jazz and world music.

Born in Sčo Paulo, Brazil, Baptista arrived in the U.S. in 1980 with a scholarship to Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. He has recorded and toured regularly with popular musicians and groups. Baptista creates many of the percussion instruments he plays.

Baptista recorded with pianist Herbie Hancock on his 2005 release, Possibilities. In 2002 Baptista toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project and also appeared on the Obrigado Brazil album – winner of two Grammy awards. He also toured with Trey Anastasio of Phish and John Zorn. He recorded and performed worldwide with Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award-winning Gershwin’s World. Baptista collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra for a Brazilian Carnival modern jazz concert. For over two years, he toured with Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints tour and appears on his Concert in Central Park release. He also toured worldwide with Sting in 2001.

Baptista has performed or recorded with many artists, including: Trey Anastasio, Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Gato Barbieri, Daniel Barenboim, Kathleen Battle, David Byrne, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Melissa Etheridge, Stephen Kent, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Palmer, Carlos Santana, Tim Sparks, Spyro Gyra, Sting, James Taylor, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yo-Yo Ma, and John Zorn. He has also played with many noted Brazilian artists such as Badi Assad, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte, Milton Nascimento, Nana Vasconcelos and Caetano Veloso.

Baptista has performed on five Grammy award-winning albums: Yo-Yo Ma’s Obrigado Brazil, Cassandra Wilson’s Blue Light 'Til Dawn, The Chieftains’ Santiago, Ivan Lins’ A Love Affair, and Herbie Hancock’s Gershwin’s World. A documentary on Baptista’s project, Beat the Donkey, recorded for the WGBH-TV Boston program ‘La Plaza’, won 3 New England EMMY Awards in 2002.

Baptista appeared in Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's 1990 documentary film on Fred Frith, Step Across the Border. He has also composed music for programs on the children's television network Nickelodeon.

Baptista formed Beat the Donkey, a percussion and dance ensemble in 2002. The debut self-titled album Beat the Donkey (Tzadik) was picked by Jon Pareles of The New York Times as one of the ten best alternative albums of 2002. Readers of JAZZIZ magazine and DRUM magazine voted it "Best Brazilian CD of the Year" and named Baptista "Best Percussionist of 2002." Down Beat magazine's 51st annual critics' poll selected Baptista as 'Rising Star' in percussion. The group released its second album, Love the Donkey on John Zorn's independent Tzadik record label in 2005.

Baptista's first solo recording in 1997, Villa Lobos/Vira Loucos, is a mix of his own compositions with the work of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. It was called "the most courageous, bright, funny, dramatic, and imaginative work in recent memory."

Blue Note Records released Supergenerous, a duo CD recorded with guitarist Kevin Breit (KD Lang, Cassandra Wilson). Billboard called Supergenerous "pure aural pleasure" and the Washington Post noted it "a marvelous debut that manages to feel outside and intimate at the same time."

Baptista conducts educational "rhythm workshops" in a variety of formats. He has provided presentations for a range of audiences, from elementary school children to professional musicians.

He has conducted workshops and master classes at numerous institutions throughout the world. These include Berklee College of Music (Boston), The New School (New York City), Drummer's Collective (New York City), Mannes College of Music (New York City), New World Symphony Orchestra (Miami) and Rimon School of Music (Tel-Aviv, Israel).

In 2009 Baptista won a Fellow Award in Music from United States Artists.

Baptista plays congas, bongos, tambourine, maracas, caxixi, agogo bells, pandeiro, pandora, cuica, bells, gong, drums, ceramic drums, surdo, berimbau, shaker, triangle, temple blocks, bass drum, metal percussion, campana, caja, udu, arrelegos, bell tree, bottles, washboard, rubboard, hadgini, cowbell, timbales, shekere, wood block, repique, Rototoms, cabasa, apito, mark tree, whistles, shekere, tabla, talking drum, finger cymbals, Chinese bells, tamborim, snare drum, whistles, typewriter, Alfaia, bird calls, clay drums, cymbals, kalimba, wind chimes, tom-toms, water gong, vacuum cleaner, water phone, peneira cheia, alarm clock, and other percussion."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyro_Baptista)
4/17/2024

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

"Roswell Hopkins Rudd, Jr. (born November 17, 1935) is an American jazz trombonist and composer.

Although skilled in a variety of genres of jazz (including Dixieland, which he performed while in college) and other genres of music, he is known primarily for his work in free and avant-garde jazz. Since 1962 Rudd has worked extensively with saxophonist Archie Shepp.

Rudd was born in Sharon, Connecticut. He attended the Hotchkiss School and graduated from Yale University, where he played with Eli's Chosen Six, a dixieland band of students that Rudd joined in the mid-'50s. The sextet played the boisterous trad jazz style of the day and recorded two albums, including one for Columbia Records. His collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy grew out of the lessons learned while playing rags and stomps for drunken college kids in Connecticut.

Rudd later taught ethnomusicology at Bard College and the University of Maine. On and off for a period of three decades, he assisted Alan Lomax with his world music song style (Cantometrics) and Global Jukebox projects.

In the 1960s, Rudd participated in free jazz recordings such as the New York Art Quartet; the soundtrack for the 1964 movie New York Eye and Ear Control; the album Communications by the Jazz Composer's Orchestra; and in collaborations with Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Sanders, and Gato Barbieri. Rudd has had lifelong friendships with saxophonists Archie Shepp and Steve Lacy and has performed and recorded the music of Thelonious Monk with Lacy.

Rudd and his producer and partner Verna Gillis went to Mali in 2000 and 2001. His album MALIcool (2001), a cross-cultural collaboration with kora player Toumani Diabaté and other Malian musicians, represented the first time the trombone had been featured in a recording of Malian traditional music.

In 2004, he brought his Trombone Shout Band to perform at the 4th Festival au Désert in Essakane, Tombouctou Region, Mali. In 2005, he extended his reach further, recording an album with the Mongolian Buryat Band, a traditional music group of musicians from Mongolia and Buryatia, entitled Blue Mongol.

Rudd conducts master classes and workshops both in the United States and around the world."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_Rudd)
4/17/2024

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

"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))
4/17/2024

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


Track Listing:



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

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Bailey, Derek
Zorn. John
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quintet Recordings
Miva Delete Product Category

Search for other titles on the label:
Incus.


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