DEREK BAILEY & THE STORY OF FREE IMPROVISATION
ANYONE WHO THOUGHT THE AVANTGARDE WAS DEAD SIMPLY FORGOT TO LISTEN
27 photographs (from the Bailey archive, most unpublished)
24 references to Han Bennink
13 references to Eugene Chadbourne
20 references to John Zorn
1 reference to spanking
2 references to classical music
47 references to Tony Oxley
13 references to Beethoven
13 references to rubbish
1 reference to James Chance
exhausting discographies of the complete Bailey oeuvre & of the Incus catalogue
!!SEVEN YEARS IN THE MAKING!!
another "biography" to idea-storm the literalists
musical criticism as class struggle
save music writing from the blahs!
FROM THE BEST:
Guitarist Derek Bailey - currently celebrating his 74th year - has become a by-word for superlative musicianship and awe-inspiring defiance of musical cliche. He is idolised by musicians as diverse as Pat Metheny, Sonic Pleasure and Dallas Boner. Ben Watson, author of Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, tells Bailey's story via taped interviews, gig-reports and album-reviews (including an exhaustive discography of Derek Bailey's hard-to-track recordings).
After ten years working himself to the top of his profession as a dance-hall and session musician, the guitarist committed himself to Free Improvisation in the early 60s. He has lived to see it become the lingua franca of today's art-music scene. Bailey won't allow Free Improvisation to be bracketed with American Jazz: instead, his staggering list of liaisons - which includes existential sound-artists, classical percussionists and string-players, Butoh dancers and tap dancers, rock stars, jazzers, poets, careerists, eccentrics, loungecore trendsetters and a host of fiercely individual musicians - needs to be placed at the centre of current debates about Modern Art. Uniquely among British music-writers, Ben Watson is equipped for this task.
Derek Bailey & the Story of Free Improvisation lifts the lid on a scene that has flourished by defying every known law of the music business. This biography - spiky, polemical and often very funny - provides 21st-century anti-capitalism with an aesthetic manifesto.
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