Search - Derek Bailey :: Guitar Drums N Bass

Guitar Drums N Bass
Derek Bailey
Guitar Drums N Bass
Genre: Jazz
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Guitarist Derek Bailey's career path is as perverse as his music is influential. Between the late '40s and mid '60s, he was a journeyman who played in dance bands and polite jazz combos all around England. Then he broke wi...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Derek Bailey
Title: Guitar Drums N Bass
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Avant
Album Type: Import
Genre: Jazz
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

Guitarist Derek Bailey's career path is as perverse as his music is influential. Between the late '40s and mid '60s, he was a journeyman who played in dance bands and polite jazz combos all around England. Then he broke with his past to become a key exponent of free improvisation, developing a complex, harmonically rich vocabulary that is as important to modern guitar playing as Jimi Hendrix's work. Ever restless for new challenges, in the early '90s he began practicing along with jungle broadcasts on pirate radio, but Guitar, Drums 'n' Bass is his first recorded take on the style. The unlikely confrontation between Bailey's spiky abstractions and DJ Ninj's unstoppable beats might confound fans of both improvisational and electronic dance music, but it's a blast to hear. The guitarist splashes dense torrents of bent notes, delicate skeins of harmonics, and absolutely alien chord progressions over Ninj's stuttering beats and sparse bass figures. --Bill Meyer

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CD Reviews

Perhaps Derek's best, in an unusual setting
Robert E. Lloyd | Deerfield Beach, FL | 12/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The processed drums & bass make this stand apart in terms of the overall sound, but it's Bailey's explosive playing that puts it at the top of his achievements. Think Sonny Sharrock, more so than Hendrix, but he transcends all as he pushes his strings to new limits. This is quite unlike the way he used to play with Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, et al. And not really at all like the nearly contemporary release "Ballads." Derek really shows his chops on this one. Those who have tried him before and failed to connect on his wavelength should try again. This is a remarkable work."
lexo1941 | Edinburgh, Scotland | 01/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Some time in the late 1990s, improv veteran Derek Bailey took to practising along with local drum'n'bass radio stations because he liked how chaoting the broadcasts were. (The DJs would set up intense grooves and talk over them, ring for pizza etc., something which Bailey - who had a penchant for sending his friends cassette letters of himself talking while playing guitar) appreciated. When John Zorn asked him if he'd like to record an album, Bailey expressed a wish to record an album of his guitar over drum'n'bass.

A DJ was duly commissioned to record some grooves, which were sent to Bailey. Some of the grooves apparently had stretches involving keyboard music, which Bailey ruthlessly erased, preferring not to have to compete with another melody instrument. The result is a dizzying, manic spin through late 90s beats with heavily modernist and rather fuzzy guitar spun over the top in Bailey's inimitable manner - perhaps the most recent great power trio album.

According to his Bailey's biographer, the guitarist was not entirely happy with the grooves (provided by one DJ Ninj, never heard of by this writer before or since). He thought them a bit tame, compared to the stuff he'd been practising to. But there's nothing tame about the record, as mind-twisting an encounter between street music and the avant-garde as has ever been recorded. Highly recommended, not least because it's one of the few Bailey recordings you can dance to and one of the few drum'n'bass recordings that has really evil guitar.

Beret wearing, cool-jazz, it's not.
Daren H. Burns | 12/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"That guy below names at least 2, if not 3 guitar players who respect Derek Bailey, and have even played with him.(The first three) While his music is maybe not for everyone, there is no denying Bailey's impact on modern music with his playing and written works.

I mean come on, your comparisons are not only ignorant, but they are apples to oranges."