The Squid's Ear Magazine


Bailey, Derek / Paul Motian: Duo in Concert [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Frozen Reeds)

Discovered in the archives of guitarist and free improv innovator Derek Bailey's Incus Records label are these two live performances between Bailey and percussionist Paul Motian, mastered by Jim O'Rourke and presented as a vinyl LP with a 1990 performance at JazzMarathon at De Oosterpoort, in Groningen, and as a download with a concert in 1991 at New Music Cafe, NYC.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Derek Bailey-guitar

Paul Motian-percussion


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UPC: 6419369993191

Label: Frozen Reeds
Catalog ID: FR 024LP
Squidco Product Code: 34099

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Finland
Packaging: LP
Recorded live at JazzMarathon at De Oosterpoort, in Groningen, the Netherlands, on December 7th, 1990.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The only recorded duo playing of two legendary musical figures. Derek Bailey and Paul Motian -- two longstanding pioneers of distinct strains of improvised music -- came together for a brief period of collaboration in the early 1990s.

Tapes of their two known live performances (one at Groningen's JazzMarathon festival in the Netherlands, the other a year later at New Music Cafe, NYC) were recently unearthed in the Incus archives, and their contents will surprise and delight fans of both supremely idiosyncratic musicians. The Groningen concert (1990) is released on vinyl, while the New York date (1991) is included with the digital download, which is included free of charge for all purchasers.

A conversation between Bill Frisell and Henry Kaiser on Bailey, Motian, their intertwined backgrounds, and the significance of these recordings is included as sleeve-note insert. Each player bringing decades of crucial experience to their encounters -- with histories taking in vast swathes of the development of jazz and free improvisation -- these fleeting shared moments provide some of the most riveting playing in the career of either.

There is precious little recorded evidence of Motian as a free improviser, but his mastery is beyond any doubt in these recordings. From knife-edge precision to textural haze, Motian's palette is astounding, but perhaps even more impressive is his confidence in the non-idiomatic conversation itself. Pushing far beyond the established vocabulary of free percussion, his playing allows a measured degree of repetition to take form, giving rise to almost song-like structures.

In turn, Bailey allows some of his most unashamedly melodic passages to unfold without a mote of his trademark contrariness or antagonism. Patterns that would be acerbically disrupted elsewhere are allowed to settle, with variations of note and timbre introduced more gradually than is typical of his playing. When forceful changes in dynamics or tone do arrive, they do so in such close tandem with Motian's rhythmic and textural transitions as to beggar belief.

The guitarist's duos with percussionists (Jamie Muir, Han Bennink, John Stevens) arguably provide some of the highlights of his discography. Duo in Concert represents a strong addition to the list. An elegant sense of construction pervades the sets, as the duo ably fulfil the promise of free improvisation: carving out hugely compelling, expertly balanced, and thrillingly paced music as if from thin air."-Frozen Reeds


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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bailey_(guitarist))
2/26/2024

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

"Stephen Paul Motian (March 25, 1931 - November 22, 2011) was an American jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer. Motian played an important role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties.

He first came to prominence in the late 1950s in the piano trio of Bill Evans, and later was a regular in pianist Keith Jarrett's band for about a decade (c. 1967-1976). Motian began his career as a bandleader in the early 1970s. Perhaps his two most notable groups were a longstanding trio of guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, and the Electric Bebop Band which featured the drummer working mostly with younger musicians doing interpretations of bebop standards.

Motian was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He is of Armenian descent. After playing guitar in his childhood, Motian began playing the drums at age 12, eventually touring New England in a swing band. During the Korean War he joined the Navy.

Motian became a professional musician in 1954, and briefly played with pianist Thelonious Monk. He became well known as the drummer in pianist Bill Evans's trio (1959-64), initially alongside bassist Scott LaFaro and later with Chuck Israels.

Subsequently, he played with pianists Paul Bley (1963-64) and Keith Jarrett (1967-76). Other musicians with whom Motian performed and/or recorded in the early period of his career included Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Joe Castro, Arlo Guthrie (Motian performed briefly with Guthrie in 1968-69, and performed with the singer at Woodstock), Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, and Don Cherry. Motian subsequently worked with musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, Bill Frisell, Leni Stern, Joe Lovano, Alan Pasqua, Bill McHenry, Stéphan Oliva, Frank Kimbrough, Eric Watson and many more.

Later in his career, Motian became an important composer and group leader, recording initially for ECM Records in the 1970s and early 1980s and then for Soul Note, JMT, and Winter & Winter before returning to ECM in 2005. From the early 1980s he led a trio featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, occasionally joined by bassists Ed Schuller, Charlie Haden, or Marc Johnson, and other musicians, including Jim Pepper, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman and Geri Allen. In addition to playing Motian's compositions, the group recorded tributes to Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, and a series of Paul Motian on Broadway albums, featuring original interpretations of jazz standards.

Despite his important associations with pianists, Motian's work as a leader since the 1970s rarely included a pianist in his ensembles and relied heavily on guitarists. Motian's first instrument was the guitar, and he apparently retained an affinity for the instrument: in addition to his groups with Frisell, his first two solo albums on ECM featured Sam Brown, and his Electric Bebop Band featured two and occasionally three electric guitars. The group was founded in the early 1990s, and featured a variety of young guitar and saxophone players, in addition to electric bass and Motian's drums, including saxophonists Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Chris Cheek, and Tony Malaby, and guitarists Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Shepik, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Steve Cardenas, Ben Monder, and Jakob Bro.

In 2011 Motian featured on a number of new recordings, including Live at Birdland (with Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau and Charlie Haden), Samuel Blaser's Consort in Motion, No Comment by Augusto Pirodda, and Further Explorations with Chick Corea and Eddie Gómez. Bill McHenry's Ghosts of the Sun was released - by coincidence - on the day of Motian's death. Motian's final album as bandleader was The Windmills of Your Mind, featuring Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan and Petra Haden.

Motian died on November 22, 2011 at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital of complications from myelodysplastic syndrome."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Motian)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



Side A



1. Duo in Concert (Groningen) Part 1 (22:54)

SIDE B



1. Duo in Concert (Groningen) Part 2 (21:59)

Related Categories of Interest:

Physical Releases that include Download Codes

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Guitarists, &c.
Percussion & Drums
Duo Recordings
Bailey, Derek
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

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Frozen Reeds.


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