"Quite simply, Company produced some of the most stimulating improvised music you will ever hear." - John Eyles
1982 line-up of Company. Keith Tippett, Fred Frith and George Lewis are joined by concert pianist Ursula Oppens and composer & harpist Anne LeBaron. After playing more frrequently in Japan in the late seventies, Bailey had also invited Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and Akio Suzuki on assorted instruments like glass harmonica.
Derek Bailey / guitarJulie Tippetts / guitar, voice, fluteMoto Yoshizawa / bassFred Frith / electric guitar, electronics, percussionAkio Suzuki / glass harmonica, spring gong, kikkokiririkiAnne LeBaron / harpKeith Tippett / pianoUrsula Opens / pianoGeorge Lewis / trombonePhil Wachsmann / violin, electronics
Recorded by Jean-Marc Foussat. Produced by Derek Bailey & Evan Parker. Design by Karen Brookman. Financial assistance by The Arts Council.
Company - Epiphanies
Arguably the historic birthing of British Free Music. Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Hugh Davies, and percussionist Jamie Muir formed the Music Improvisation Company in 1968 after Parker and Bailey met had met in Spontaneous Music Ensemble earlier. Essential.
Hugh Davies / electronics, organDerek Bailey / guitarJamie Muir / PercussionEvan Parker / soprano saxophone, amplified autoharp
Tracks 1-4 were recorded, in mono, 4/7/69 in London; 5 & 6 were recorded, in stereo, 18/6/70 in London. Previously issued on Incus LP 17 in 1976. Recorded by Bob Wolford. Post Production by John Haddon. Layout by Karen Brookman. Painting by Jamie Muir.
The Music Improvisation Company - 1968 - 1971
Incredible ensemble for Company Week in '97. Twenty-six minute opening track sees the whole collective scrambling into full-blown ecstatic chaos,follwed by two mega duos from Anthony Braxton and Steve Lacy.
Maarten Altena / bass Tristan Honsinger / cello Anthony Braxton / clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, soprano saxophoneDerek Bailey / guitar Wadada Leo Smith / trumpet, fluteEvan Parker / soprano saxophone, tenor saxophoneSteve Lacy / soprano saxophone
Recorded By Nick Glennie-Smith at The ICA London by Riverside on Thursday 26 May during the 1977 Company Week. Artwork by Iain Patterson. Typography by Nicolette Amettte.
Company - Company 5
First two days of Company Week 1991 where musicians came together for five days improvisation - most of them meeting for the first time.
Alexander Balanescu / violin
Vanessa Maskness / voice
Yves Robert / trombone
Derek Bailey / guitar
Paul Lovens / percussion
Paul Rogers / bass
Pat Thomas / electronics & keyboard
Buckethead / guitar
John Zorn / alto saxophone
Recorded by Paul Wilson & Matt Saunders. Produced by Derek Bailey. Post production by John Haddon. Artwork & design by Karen Brookman. Photos by Martin L McGain. Made with the assistance of the British Library Sound Archive.
Company - Company 91 Volume 1
The Bailey/Gaines duo collides head-on with the IST string trio; the groups fracture & reform in a myriad fascinating ways.
"Features a little-league superstar line-up joined by the veteran American hoofer Will Gaines. Some fascinating interplay between guitar, bass, cello, harp and Gaines’s amazing, Duracell-powered feet." Stewart Lee, Sunday Times
Will Gaines / danse claquettes Mark Wastell / cello Rhodri Davies / harp Derek Bailey / guitar Simon H. Fell/ double bass
Recorded on January 13 & 14th, 1999 at the Théâtre des Bernadines, Marseille. Artwork & design by Karen Brookman. Photos by Mark Wastell.
Company - Company in Marseille
"John, Kent and I played only once as a trio, a convert in November 1992, and this is the recording of it. We Planned more work as a trio and John was in the process of setting up some others at the time of his death. So, as it turned out, it was just the one time." - Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey / electric guitar
John Stevens / drums & mini trumpet
Kent Carter / bass
Recorded November 1992, Leicester, England.
Stevens / Carter / Bailey - One Time
Low volume, textural interplay between London improvisors Butcher, Derek Bailey & tuba player Oren Marshall. Comparatively short improvisations that are characterised by their laid-back restraint and taste.
Derek Bailey / acoustic guitar, electric guitar
John Butcher / tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Oren Marshall / tuba
Recorded at UPS STUDIO, London. Design by & 3media, Karen Brookman. Photography By Karen Brookman, Yuhij Itsumi, Caroline Forbes, Thomi Wroblevski. Post Production by Martin Davidson
Bailey / Butcher / Marshall - Trio Playing
"Continuous change is the hallmark of Bert's musical practice. His sonic version of perpetual motion turns up in many dimensions at once - timbral, rhythmic, gestural, melodic, rhetorical, dramatic, and much more - so that playing with Bert often becomes a matter of finding, somewhere, a sound that he isn't playing at the moment, a sound that you can grab onto as a life preserver to save you from getting smoked right out the room." - George Lewis
George E. Lewis / trombone
Bertram Turetzky / contrabass
Recorded by Sonic Solutions November 26th 1997. Design & layout by Karen Brookman. Photograph of George Lewis by Betty Freeman.
George E. Lewis & Bertram Turetzky - Conversations
"I met Derek at Clinton Studio and we started recording. I remember that my playing felt stiff at first, but I told myself to watch, listen and try to a have dialog with him and most importantly to follow my feelings. I still remember, during the middle of one track, Derek broke a string. I thought he might stop, but he continued playing, using the broken string to scratch on the frets. The results sounded incredible, they came out on Avant, and this followed. Derek and I went on tour playing concerts in Berlin, Graz and other European cities. I learned so much from him."
Derek Bailey / guitar
Min Xiao-Fen / pipa
Recorded by Ben Bailes. Post Production by Toby Hrycek-Robinson and Ben Bailes. Design & layout by Karen Brookman. Recorded N.Y.C. November 1999
Derek Bailey & Min Xiao-Fen - Flying Dragons
Brilliant duo from underrated cellist Tristan Honsinger and Bailey. The latter tracks (7-13) came out on the wonderful Duo LP (INCUSLP20), and the proceeding documents some the pair's first duets - equally as captivating. There are parralels between this record and fellow sometime Parisian string pkayer Joelle Leandre's Taxi, but really, Honsinger's voice is like no other - there's less revulsion than Minton, and more slapstick. Bailey on Waiswich Crackle Box on track 12 is a real treat.
"The first time I heard Tristan was when I joined a group of startled listeners surrounding a cello player playing on the street in Massey, a small town a few miles south of Paris. It was about then that I realised had there been no such thing as free improvisation, Tristan Honsinger would have invented it.
I was in Massey to play on a concert made up entirely of solo guitar players; a situation obviously leaving a lot of room for improvement. It was to that end that I invited Tristan to play with me on the concert and it was my great fortune that he agreed and we've played together in all kinds of situations since.
The Massy tracks are from that concert. The other tracks are from Duo, the record we made he following year (Incus LP 20) and date from a time when judicious editing, post production and allied techinical sophistications had not yet entered recorded improvised music, and are issues precisely as we put them out in 1976." - Derek Bailey, August, 2002.
Derek Bailey / electric guitar, 19 string (approx) guitar, Waiswich Crackle Box on track 12)
Tristan Honsinger / cello, voice
Tracks 1 - 6 recorded October 26 1975. Tracks 7-13 recorded by Bob Woolford 6th & 7th February 1976. Artwork by tony Monstrom. Design and layout by Tony Monstrom & Karen Brookman.
Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger - Tristan (Duo)
Collection of Bailey duos from shows across London in 2001.
Alan Wilkinson / baritone saxophone, voice (track 1)Derek Bailey / electric guitar (tracks 1 & 2), acoustic guitar (track 3)Roger Turner / percussion (track 2)Julian Kytasty / bandura, flute (track 3)
Track 1 recorded by Tim Fletcher on 23rd March 2001 at Flim Flam Club, London. Track 2 recorded by Tim Fletcher on 2nd March 2001 at the October Gallery, London. Track 3 recorded by Toby Hrtycek-Robinson on October 2001 at St Michael and All Angels Church, London. Post production by Toby Hrtycek-Robinson. Design & layout by Karen Brookman.
Derek Bailey - Duos, London 2001
"In 1980, when these four pieces were recorded, John Zorn and I had been playing together for about three years. Four pieces from two different concerts are presented in their entirety. Now I wouldn't dream of touching them, but from my 80's notebook scribbling I can see that although we certainly were enamoured with these duets and thought they were better than anyting anybody else was doing (a musicians right!) we at the same time saw the process as sort of dispensible: another duet concert would be coming around the corner, it might be even better, maybe one day a good recording might get made out of one. Now I listen to these pieces and hear them as complete and perfect, and I wonder how we were able to create them in the midst of such confusion, insecurity and indifference. But hey, the pay was great! My notes indicate John and I split $30 for one of these shows." - Eugene Chadbourne, 1996.
John Zorn / saxophones, balloons, bucket
Eugene Chadbourne / dobro, acoustic & electric guitar, contact microphones
Recorded in the state of New York 1980.
Eugene Chadbourne / John Zorn – In Memory Of Nikki Arane
"Exemplary studio sound as England's most adept and creative trio encounter the nouveau-guitar wizard from Sharon, Massachusetts. The rhythm players dive into a bluesy, groovy mesh of bass/guitar twangs, tinder which Alan Wilkinson's vocalised sax fumes and ignites Brötzmania with added humour and colouration. Joe Morris's notes fly like pips squeezed from an orange, his native lyricism stressed into steel by the surrounding tensions. Bows And Buttons closes with a savage baritone outburst that balances what's preceded with staggering aesthetic precision." - Ben Watson
Alan Wilkinson / saxophonesSimon Fell / double bassPaul Hession / drumsJoe Morris / guitar
Recorded at The Blizzard Condition [for the Termite Club], Leeds 14th June 1996 by Damien Bowskill.
Hession / Wilkinson / Fell + Morris - Registered Firm
"The Levis are accomplished masters of the warp-speed sound bite: 26 of them here, set out like a board of weird sushi. Though most clock in at between 30 seconds and pop-single length, there are two more substantial tracks in the middle of the set- the combative "All Against All" and "Lady Ms Girl Shine"- which confirm that this isn't just a comic put on." - Penguin Guide to Jazz
Bob Stagner / percussion, fiddle, zither, cymbal, rototoms, drum machine, violin, cowbell
Dennis Palmer / synthesizers, drum machine, effects
1. The Popcorn Gomer - 1:242. Rev Jim's Belly - 1:203. Quarrelsome Brother Love - 0:324. Sunday School Breakfast - 1:575. Green Eyed Lovely Chimp - 1:446. Big For My Size - 2:037. Humming Devil - 2:098. Bullet Proof Cross - 5:409. Dob On Ah Stob - 1:2910. All Sweet Like Babies - 1:4311. Vampires Like To Bite - 1:5712. Tiny Tarkus - 1:4313. Magic Pulpit Ride - 1:0814. All Against All - 7:4815. Lady Ms. Girl Shine - 4:0316. Heart Beam - 2:0417. Sissy Gladiators - 1:3918. Hip Oh Critter - 2:1619. Two Cycle Hell Harp - 0:4720. Jumping Devil "Seven Examples" - 1:5521. Merry Dang Soul - 1:3222. Astral Peeper - 1:0923. Where's The Bible? - 1:5524. Catbird Technique - 2:1325. Lil' Hellbender - 1:5926. Corpse O' Earth - 2:43
Produced by Ray Norwood. Tracks 1 to 11 were recorded mixed and engineered at the Sound Lab, Chattanooga, Tennessee, January-April 1992. Tracks 12 to 26 were recorded in Palmer's basement in June 1992.
Shaking Ray Levis - False Prophets Or Dang Good Guessers
"Well a word you used that started with an A, that's like a four letter work to me. I don't even say that word no more...I tried to get a gig at the Blue Note...and they used that word again, they used that word, and then they said, well he's part of that word and that's the reason he can't get a gig at the Blue Note." - David Murray on the evils of the word avant-garde, quoted in the booklet notes to 'A Sanctuary Within' (Black Saint, 1992)
Alan Wilkinson / alto & baritone saxophone Stefan Jaworzyn / electric guitar
Recorded by Giles Perring at Red Rose Club, February 27, 1996. Mastered by Dennis Blackham and Country Masters. Artwork by Gina Southgate. Cover design by Alan Wilkinson, Karen Brookman, Stefan Jaworzyn
Stefan Jaworzyn & Alan Wilkinson - In A Sentimental Mood
After making his debut record for Incus Original Gravity, Bevan returned to the label with a new trio, joined by Steve Noble on percussion (Ya Boo, False Face) and Paul Rogers on bass. Quick intuition, a broad dynamic spectrum, and dazzling tonal colors. On a canvas of metallic percussion by Steve Noble, Bevan manipulates his striated tone like a painter adjusting brush strokes- some sounds are long, wide, and spacious, others squat and impossibly dense. This is at the relatively louder end on Bevan's work on Incus - especially when compared to Bevan / Bailey collabs like Limescale and Good Cop, Bad Cop.
Paul Rogers / double bassSteve Noble / percussionTony Bevan / saxophones
Recorded on 25th July 1991 at Holywell Music Room by Michael Gerzon. Produced by Steve Noble & Tony Bevan. Designed by Steve Noble. Photography By Thomi Wroblewski. Post Production by John Hadden
Bevan, Rodgers, Noble - Bigshots
Beautifully recorded '92 sessions of dynamic and subtle interaction between Derek Bailey and drummer and mini-trumpeter John Stevens.
"This lovely duet between avant guitar kingpin Derek Bailey and drummer/trumpet player John Stevens is a fine example of what Bailey was up to in the early '90s, before he discovered drum'n'bass and Bill Laswell, among other things. While the date is, as usual, completely improvised, relying more on nuance, texture, and timing than tonality, subtle timbral studies are evident, particularly in the middle of the recording on "Ping Pong" (where Bailey forgoes the electric guitar entirely and concentrates instead on the refracted timbres of an acoustic, and Stevens mutes his trumpet and plays percussion with his other hand in the exact center of spaces Bailey vacates." - Thom Jurek, All Music
John Stevens / drums, cornet, mini Trumpet
Derek Bailey / electric & acoustic guitar
Recorded August 14th, 1992 at the Watershed Studios, London, by Richie Stevens. Post production by John Hadden. Design by Karen Brookman. Artwork By [Drawing 'UIIU'] by John Stevens.
Derek Bailey & John Stevens - Playing
They first played together at the Little Theatre Club, London, in the 1960's, and then not at all until the 1980's when their path crossed often: workshops and concerts in France in 1984, a tour of Italy by Company in 1986, in 1987 Company Week in London, a duo performance at Crawley Festival in 1988 and a duo tour, in 1989, in the North of England. These recordings were made during Company Week 1987 and at Crawley Festival 1988.
Derek Bailey / guitar
Barre Philips / bass
a & b recorded at the Arts Theatre, London, on Tuesday May 12th, 1987 by Michael Gerzon. c & d recorded at Hawth Centre, Crawley, England on Sunday 4th September 1988 by Michael Gerzon. Post production by John Hadden. Cover drawing by Tony Monstrom. Photographs & layout by Karen Brookman.
Derek Bailey & Barre Phillips - Figuring