Kicking off a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: Solo Guitar Volume 1, a reissue of Derek Bailey's Solo Guitar release on Incus in 1971, with additional tracks included on previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972. Recorded in 1971, this was Bailey's first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return. The LP was issued in two versions over the years -- Incus 2 and 2R -- with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey's performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars, and Willem Breuker. All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972, a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It's a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence, and wit. As throughout the series, the recordings are newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, remastered by Rashad Becker, and available for download exclusively here.
Derek Bailey / guitar, synthesizer
Tracks 1-13 recorded by Bob Woolford and Hugh Davies. Photographs by Roberto Masotti. Mastered by Rashad Becker.
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. Improvisation 4 - 2:02
2. Improvisation 5 - 7:43
3. Improvisation 6 - 5:29
4. Improvisation 7 - 3:10
5. Where Is The Police? - 8:25 [written by Misha Mengelberg]
6. Christiani Eddy - 5:50 [written by Willem Breuker]
7. The Squirrel And The Ricketty-Racketty Bridge - 6:31 [written by Gavin Bryars]
8. Improvisation 3 - 2:41
9. Improvisation 8 - 4:19
10. Improvisation 9 - 1:52
11. Improvisation 10 - 3:04
12. Improvisation 11 - 2:16
13. Improvisation 12 - 3:46
14. Improvisation: York, 24.2.1972 - 14:35
Derek Bailey was one of the most influential and adventurous experimental guitarists to come from England (Sheffield), evolving out of the trad-jazz scene of the fifties into the avant/jazz scene in '60s London. By the late sixties he was a member of the Joseph Holbrooke Trio, Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Music Improvisation Company which later became the amorphous Company under his leadership. These groups were at the birth and center of the British free-jazz scene. In the early seventies, Derek Bailey and Evan Parker started their own record label called Incus Records - one of the first artist-run labels.
Although Derek played with members of the British free/jazz scene, he also forged relationships with a number of European players like Han Bennink & Peter Brötzmann, Japanese free players like Abe Kaoru, Toshinori Kondo, as well as American improvisers like Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and John Zorn to name a few.
Derek organized an annual festival called Company Week in the 80's & 90's, which brought together a unique group of international improvisers from varied backgrounds.
"He was a man who repelled pretension, refused to be shoehorned into comfortable categories, and played amazing guitar." - John Butcher
"I do not subscribe to the idea that free improvisation began or ends with any individual. This only suggests that somehow the music Derek made was so individualistic that it failed to communicate anything beyond personal expression." - Eddie Prevost