11 01 2006
#1022


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11 01 2006
#1021


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10 01 2006
#1020

RIP BAILEY


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Derek Bailey

Restlessly creative guitarist forever pushing at the boundaries of music

John Fordham
Thursday December 29, 2005
The Guardian

On and off over the past decade, I would meet Derek Bailey in the same Chinese restaurant in Dalston, north London. As well as being a wonderful raconteur, the Yorkshire-born guitarist regularly blew holes in convenient wisdoms sitting smugly on some shelf in my head. His provocativeness was not oneupmanship, or a parade of erudition; it was the way his brain was wired. He had done the same for musicians and listeners all over the world for 40 years or more as a free-player and a freethinker, a Frank Zappa for the world of spontaneous performance.

Bailey, who has died aged 75 of complications from motor neurone disease, was a guru without self-importance, a teacher without a rulebook, a guitar-hero without hot licks and a one-man counterculture without ever believing he knew all the answers - or maybe any at all. With his passing, the world has lost an inimitable musician and an implacable enemy of commercialised art.
Bailey once described his friend John Zorn, the American avant-garde composer and improviser, as "a Diaghilev of contemporary music" for his catalytic influence. But he could as easily have been describing himself. He worked with performers as different as free-jazz piano legend Cecil Taylor, cool school saxist Lee Konitz, Harlem bop-and-swing hoofer Will Gaines, naked Japanese improvising dancer Min Tanaka, fusion guitar star Pat Metheny and the drum virtuoso Tony Williams. In later years, he collaborated with Japanese art-of-noise rock band the Ruins, and - when he had already passed 70 - with young drum and bass DJs.

Singlemindedly devoted to unpremeditated improvisation, Bailey published a book on the subject in 1980 called Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music. Twelve years later, it led to Jeremy Marre's revealing Channel 4 four-parter On the Edge: Improvisation in Music, an ambitious venture that Bailey both scripted and presented. The project tracked the improvising impulse through the most radical interpreters of Mozart, the methods of the organist at the Sacré Coeur, Paris, in baroque music or the blues, and in locations from the Hebrides to the Ganges.

Bailey was born to George and Lily Bailey, in the Abbeydale district of Sheffield. His father was a barber, his uncle a professional guitarist who gave the boy his first instrument and some haphazard lessons. By a process of osmosis from musicians he met, sustenance from odd jobs, record-listening (bebop guitar pioneer Charlie Christian was his early model) and some later self-education in theory and arranging, Bailey became a pro on the UK dance-band and studio circuit in the early 1950s. By 1965, he was playing Blackpool seasons for Morecambe and Wise.

By that time, he had begun rehearsing regularly with two adventurous younger players in Sheffield - classical percussionist turned jazz drummer Tony Oxley and bassist (later to become classical composer) Gavin Bryars. The three formed the group Joseph Holbrooke (named after an obscure British composer whose work they never played), and, from 1963 to 1966, its jazz beginnings in John Coltrane and the Bill Evans Trio were crossbred with ideas from John Cage, Stockhausen, serialism, Oxley's labyrinthine rhythm variations, and much more. Gradually, the group moved from jazz into a non-idiomatic approach - free-improvisation.

From 1966, Bailey began visiting the Little Theatre Club, a West End bolthole where the drummer John Stevens ran all-comers' sessions and young improvisers (including Evan Parker, Trevor Watts and Paul Rutherford), jazz virtuosi (Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler) and contemporary classical players like Barry Guy gathered. With various versions of Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Oxley's sextet, the Music Improvisation Company (electronics, percussion and Parker's sax) and the trio Iskra 1903 (with trombonist Rutherford and bassist Guy), Bailey began to build a completely new vocabulary for the guitar.

Though he never abandoned the conventional instrument, he was mixing warped chordal ideas, serialism's lateral melodies, Cage's elevation of silence, pedal-operated electronics and a brittle attack borrowed from percussionists. From 1970, he also ran the Incus Records label, first with Oxley and Parker, then with his partner (and later third wife) Karen Brookman - their Hackney flat is still the Incus HQ.

Bailey's Diaghilev qualities came to the fore in 1976, when he began his Company project, an improvisers' festival that involved 400 players each year up to 1994 in Britain, the US and Japan, with Zorn, Lee Konitz, saxist Steve Lacy, classical violinist Alexander Balanescu, bassoonist Lindsey Cooper and composer/saxist Anthony Braxton among those taking part. He also invited dancers, performance-artists, electronica-specialists and avant-rockers to join in, with the artists deciding who would improvise with who.

He likened improvisation to spontaneous relationships and conversation - full of accidental harmonies, misunderstandings, passion and indifference. Though a sophisticated instrumentalist himself, he did not mind playing with people who had comparatively few skills; something interesting might always happen. He worked with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Tony Williams in the trio Arcana in 1995, and collaborated with Pat Metheny and two percussionists on The Sign Of Four in 1996.

He described that encounter to me thus: "The equipment I use I bought in Canal Street 15 years ago. Pat's sitting in the middle of what looks like the console of a 747, with four guitars and a distortion unit that could be used for dispersing mobs. There were two guys with huge percussion kits, and I'm making a lot of noise, and then he switches this thing on, and it's like there's three dogs playing around a little, and suddenly an elephant lands on top of them."

Yet for all that raw-noise energy, Bailey continued to be a delicate acoustic improviser, often unaccompanied or in duets. Just in time, he was caught by the ideal biographer, Ben Watson, in the book Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation. And, though his combativeness never left him, he seemed to take heart from the musical eclecticism and dissolution of idiomatic differences he had done so much to encourage.

"The kids don't mind whatever it is these days," he told me once. "Maybe there's a lot of stuff out there now that is by its nature odd. But they seem to be able to take anything. Which is great to somebody like me. I find it very comfortable. In an uncomfortable sort of way." Karen survives him, as does Simon, the son of his second marriage.

Richard Williams writes: The least typical recording Derek Bailey ever made also turned out (not that he would have appreciated the compliment) to be one of the great jazz recordings of the last 40 years. Titled simply Ballads, and recorded in 2002 for John Zorn's Tzadik label, it consisted of solo guitar meditations on 14 songs from the standard repertoire, including Laura, Body and Soul, What's New, Stella by Starlight and You Go to My Head.

Although this was the last project one might have expected from a professed enemy of composed music, it was no surprise to discover that in these songs - their musical and emotional contours long since flattened by overuse - Bailey found brand new angles and meanings, thanks to the application of his highly personal imagination and unique instrumental language. Extraordinary renditions, indeed, and utterly spellbinding.

By the time he recorded another solo CD for Tzadik, entitled Carpal Tunnel, three years later, his refined technique had all but disappeared. No longer able to grasp a plectrum with his right hand, he adapted by striking the strings with his thumb. The album's title came from the condition, carpal tunnel syndrome, that was said by doctors to explain his reduced dexterity. In fact, it marked the onset of the motor neurone disease from which he died.

In these pieces, the spiky elegance of Ballads is replaced by a halting delicacy reminiscent both of Japanese koto music and of the last paintings of Willem de Kooning, when illness had robbed the great abstract expressionist of the power to do anything other than trace a haunting shadow of the shapes and colours that had once burst from the canvas.

· Derek Bailey, improvising guitarist, born January 29 1930; died December 25 2005

from www.guardian.co.uk

10 01 2006
#1019

Barcelono venue change

The Apolo venue has changed to the following:

SAT 18/2 SPAIN BARCELONA MEPHISTO

09 01 2006
#1018


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AUX VOÛTES

Dimanche 15 janvier 2006 20h30

Concert by Phill Niblock and Kasper T. Toeplitz
Visuals by Bruno Herlin and Phill Niblock

A set of the music of Kasper T Toeplitz
A set of the music of Phill Niblock
(during the Niblock's set, KTT will also play "Yam almost may", by PN)

LES VOÛTES
19 rue des Frigos 75013 Paris
(ex: 91 Quai Panhard & Levassor, ex : 91 Quai de la gare)
Lignes Metro : 14 Météor - 6 Quai de la Gare
Lignes Bus : 89 - 62

http://www.lesvoutes.org/

09 01 2006
#1017

PELT live in NYC

Recording of the great PELT, Knitting Factory in November, opening for EARTH.

http://www.vhfrecords.com/pelt/pelt-nycM.mp3

08 01 2006
#1016

Greetings Friends!

WALDTEUFEL will headline the Wednesday February 1st portion of the HOW TO DESTROY THE UNIVERSE 5 Festival. This show also marks "10 Years of Waldteufel" and will usher in a year of special releases and events to celebrate the continued life-blood of this project. For this show, we will be joined by a few special guests, in a fiery rite to celebrate the imminent return of the fertile cycle.

Frøblot - Fasnacht - Disating - Imbolc - Brigit's Feast.

All the best for this new Year!

WALDTEUFEL
http://www.waldteufel.net

HOW TO DESTROY THE UNIVERSE 5 Festival info:
http://mobilization.com/destroy5_info.html

NOTE: For a Portland 2 day Advance Festival Pass: $19 / $29 with merch -
admission to both shows - email "payme 'at' mobilization.com" for
availability.

2Gyrlz presents:
Wednesday February 1, 2006
F-SPACE (rare full fire performance), SIXTEENS, SYNCHRONICITY FREQUENCY,
WALDTEUFEL (w/ Markus Wolff of CRASH WORSHIP), video art.
Sabala's
4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
8pm-2am ALL AGES!!! $5-$15 sliding scale.
Buy Tickets or Pay Pal your payment to "payme 'at' mobilization.com"

2Gyrlz presents:
Thursday February 2, 2006
BLIXA BARGELD, The LIVING JARBOE, SORIAH (w/ Scot Jenerik)
The Old Church
1422 SW 11th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97201
8pm-midnight
(300 Capacity) ALL AGES!
Advance (first 200 tickets)
$15, $25 with merch
This event is 40% to sold out

This night features the release celebration for SORIAH's debut CD "CHAO ORGANICA IN A MINOR" (also recorded at the Old Church) which features album cover artwork by Markus Wolff of WALDTEUFEL. For a picture of the cover and info about the release as well as the organ of the Old Church,
click below:
http://www.blrrecords.com/prod/853/chao_organica_in_a_minor.html
SORIAH homepage:
http://www.soriah.net

07 01 2006
#1015

"Every sound on this album is deliberate, and if you find that some parts of the album are strange, it isn't because the music in itself is strange, but because your conscious self is ill-equipped to comprehend the sounds produced on this recording." —SIGH, Hail Horror Hail liner notes.

06 01 2006
#1014

SUNN O))) & EARTH vs EUROPE 2006

SUNN O))) & EARTH vs EUROPE 2006
010606 UPDATE

WED 8/2 GERMANY KOLN GEBAUEDE 9
THU 9/2 BELGIUM DIKSMUIDE 4AD
FRI 10/2 LONDON VENUE ISLINGTON ACADEMY
SAT 11/2 LEEDS THE COCKPIT
SUN 12/2 GLASGOW ABC2
MON 13/2 LIVERPOOL ROADKILL
TUE 14/2 BRISTOL THEKLA
WED 15/2 BIRMINGHAM CUSTARD FACTORY
THU 16/2 LUXEMBURGESCH ALZETTE KULTURFABRIK
FRI 17/2 FRANCE PARIS POINTE EPHEMERE
SAT 18/2 SPAIN BARCELONA APOLO
SUN 19/2 FRANCE TOLOUSE VENTS DU SUD
TUE 21/2 SWITZERLAND DUDINGEN BAD BONN
WED 22/2 ITALY TORINO SPAZIO 211
THU 23/2 ITALY ROMA CIRCOLO DEGLI ARTISTI/ZOOBAR
FRI 24/2 ITALY MILAN JAIL
SAT 25/2 ITALY RAVENNA BRONSON
MON 27/2 CROATIA ZAGREB GALERIJA SC
TUE 28/2 AUSTRIA VIENNA SZENE
WED 1/3 GERMANY DRESDEN STAR CLUB
THU 2/3 GERMANY BERLIN VOLKSBUHNE
FRI 3/3 NETHERLANDS AMSTERDAM PARADISO
SAT 4/3 GERMANY HAMBURG MARKTHALLE
SUN 5/3 DENMARK COPENHAGEN LOPPEN
TUE 7/3 NORWAY OSLO BLÄ
WED 8/3 SWEDEN STOCKHOLM DEBASER
FRI 10/3 SWEDEN GOTHENBURG IDEAL FESTIVAL
SAT 11/3 DENMARK AARHUS VOXHALL
SUN 12/3 NETHERLANDS GRONINGEN VERA
TUES 14/3 PORTUGAL PORTO CASA DE MUSICA

06 01 2006
#1013


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