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Music Improvisation
Music Improvisation Company, Derek Bailey [Ltd.Papersleeves
Music Improvisation
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

24-bit remastered Japanese reissue of 1970 album, that's unavailable domestically, packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. 7 tracks. ECM. 2003.


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CD Details

All Artists: Music Improvisation Company, Derek Bailey [Ltd.Papersleeves
Title: Music Improvisation
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Universal
Release Date: 9/1/2003
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 4988005340474, 766482933648


Album Description
24-bit remastered Japanese reissue of 1970 album, that's unavailable domestically, packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. 7 tracks. ECM. 2003.

CD Reviews

Seminal Free Improv On ECM!
hj | London | 01/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I picked this up on vinyl in the early 80s, my first free improv record, so I have a particular affection for it. It was originally released in 1970 on ECM, produced by Manfred Eicher. Long before Keith Jarrett and "The Koln Concert" obviously. I'd given up hope of seeing it on CD but lo and behold here it is on Japanese import labelled "Hardcore Jazz." It may not be jazz but it's certainly hardcore. Not sure about the remastering status of this (liner notes in Japanese) but it sounds ok. Nice card facsimile sleeve and the disc has replica turquoise ECM label.

MUSIC IMPROVISATION COMPANY (MIC) ran from 68 to 70 and were one of the most important groups in the development of this type of music. Basically this was where Bailey and Parker dispensed with the last vestiges of jazz and forged the aesthetic that would dominate British free improv for years to come. The line up is: Derek Bailey - guitar; Evan Parker - soprano sax; Jamie Muir - percussion; Hugh Davies - electronics; Christine Jeffrey - voice (two tracks only).

The 2-minute opening track "Third Stream Boogaloo" (how droll) starts with fragmented sounds before Muir flays in on drums like a collapsing house. Bailey hits the feedback and Parker is off on some high register squealing on the sax - or maybe some of that squealing is Jeffrey. After this crescendo the music settles back into fragmented pointillism. Subsequent tracks follow a similar ebb and flow albeit at greater length. The playing here is always interesting because the sounds themselves are so defamiliarized. Basically these folks were reinventing their instruments. Stockhausen survivor Hugh Davies adds a lot - his electronic keyboards provide an array of whirs, hums and distortion drones. Sometimes he gets sounds indistinguishable from Parker's sax or Bailey's guitar. It's often difficult to tell who is playing what. Christine Jeffrey's contribution seems to consist of very understated dove-like cooing. Slightly mad, but I wish she was on all the tracks.

One person who liked MIC was Robert Fripp, who enticed Jamie Muir into KING CRIMSON for a brief but memorable attempt to scare the wits out of prog-rock fans. Bailey's next group ISKRA were more radical than MIC, and perhaps made more fully realized (if more daunting) music. He reconvened COMPANY as a loose collective throughout the 80s. A flying cymbal from Jamie Muir nearly sliced my head off at one such event but that's another story....

Incus put out a good selection of MIC sessions on CD awhile back but I prefer this ECM album. It seems more of a summation of the group. Let's hope CD reissues now appear of Bailey and Dave Holland's ECM duo album from the same period and Bailey's Incus duo with Christine Jeffrey."