Jazz / Free Jazz
"Reissue of Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger Duo, originally released by Incus in 1976. Born in Burlington, Vermont, and conservatory-trained in the US, the cellist Tristan Honsinger moved from Montreal to Amsterdam in 1974, quickly linking with Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and opening a long and fruitful musical relationship with Derek Bailey.
Recorded in 1976, Duo displays a performative musical approach already characterized by the lack of inhibition which would later endear him to The Pop Group: he is knockabout, exclamatory, explosively rhythmic; burping Bach and folk melodies with spasmodic lyricism, in amongst the garrulous textures and accents of his scraping, bowing, and plucking, and gibbering like a monkey; throwing out his arms and stamping the floor, grappling with his instrument like an expert clown, always tripping himself up. You can hear Bailey reveling in the company, as he ranges between scrabbling solidarity and an askance skewering of his partner's antics, on prepared (nineteen-string) and standard electric guitars -- and a Waisvisz Crackle-box, for the garbled, quizzical, cross-species natter which closes "The Shadow".
Throughout, the spirited interplay between laconic, analytic wit, and guttural, sometimes slapstick physicality is consistently droll, often laugh-out-loud funny; vigorously alert, alive, and gripping.”
Tristan Honsigner / cello, voice
Derek Bailey / electric guitar, crackle box
Recorded at Verity's Place 7th February 1976, except for A1 and B2 which were recorded at Tangent Studio 6th February 1976.
Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger - Duo
Originally released by Incus in 1974. Recorded at a private house in Catford, south-east London, the side-long title track is a masterwork: a twenty-two-minute, starkly personal, freely expressive, itchily searching re-casting of orders of rhythm and sound into a new, quicksilver kind of affective and musical polyphony. Never mind the guitarist’s championing of ‘non-idiomatic improvisation’, the poet Peter Riley gets the ball rolling in his identification of the various hauntings of Bailey’s playing at this time: ‘mandolins & balalaikas strumming in the distance, George Formby’s banjo, Leadbelly’s steel 12-string, koto, lute, classical guitar… and others quite outside the field of the plucked string.’
The five pieces on side two were recorded back home in Hackney around the same time — with the exception of Improvisation 104(b), from the year before (and issued by Incus in its TAPS series of mini reel-to-reel tapes) — opening with ventriloquised guitar feedback, and taking in some cod banter about colleagues like Mervyn Parker, Siegfried Brotzmann and Harry Bentink. Crucial.
"In 1974, when Derek Bailey was planning his second solo LP on Incus, he decided to include a side-long solo using his stereo electro-acoustic set-up. Unfortunately, he never seemed to have a 20-minute stretch of time free of interruptions in his home, so he asked if he could record it at my place. After a fairly lengthy drive across London on the arranged date, he discovered that he had brought all his gear except the actual guitar. So he had a cup of tea and a chat, then drove home again. He came again about a week later, on May 13th, this time with everything. I set the level too high for the first two takes, not quite allowing for his enormous dynamic range (which really was not suitable for analogue recording and reproduction equipment). The result was too much distortion for his liking. The level was corrected for the third take which was the one used as the title track on the LP, even though he preferred the music on the earlier takes.
All but one of the short pieces on the second side of the LP were recorded by Bob Woolford around the same time, probably at Derek's home. (The exception, 'Improvisation 104(b),' was recorded the previous year and originally released on one of the Incus TAPs -- mini reel-to-reel tapes that were an attempt to bypass the technical problems of going from tape to vinyl. They were reissued by Organ of Corti.) 'Pain In The Chest' and 'In Joke (Take 2)' feature the unamplified 19-string (approx) guitar, which was probably the only instrument that Derek modified -- he otherwise used standard guitars.
There was a shortage of good vinyl at the time, making it difficult to get decent pressings. (The original pressing of the solo Steve Lacy Emanem LP sounded as though it had been recorded in a hail-storm.) We were recommended to go to a pressing plant that specialized in 'classical' music. (At the same time that Derek was trying to get Lot 74 pressed, I was also working on his duo album with Anthony Braxton.) The first test pressing of Lot 74 was very muffled, and we discovered that the cutting engineer had played the tape up-side-down, so that the music had been filtered through the tape backing (used on professional tapes to reduce print-through). The cutting was subsequently redone correctly, resulting in an acceptable test pressing. However, the plant manager was completely incredulous and perplexed, as he was used to checking pressings using his library of scores of Beethoven sonatas and the like. How could he tell if the vocal and feedback howls at the start of side two ('Together') were correct?
Over thirty years later, advances in technology have eliminated most of the technical problems we had then, so that this magnificent music can be heard sounding better than ever. Every so often, I get someone asking me to issue things on vinyl -- my response is usually not very polite." Martin Davidson
Derek Bailey - Lot 74
Oxley's experimental electronics album. Anyone who has heard Pat Thomas do Black Top will hear Pat in this - high end keys, spoken word samples, worked with Matt Wand on drum machine and percussion, rather than Orphy Robinson. In fact, Derek and Tony sit out and let them record "Duo MP" - a sparse, alien affair with fantastic tape loops. The following "TD Duo" is Bailey and Bevan all skittering and brittle, just as you'd imagine. Overall it's the quartet that really works, and you can tell how much fun they're having. A natural foreground to Derek's exeriments on Limescale, and again, Pat Thomas's work on Re-rectangle's And (with Steve Noble and Derek Bailey) and later his duo Black Top.
Matt Wand / drum machine, electronics, tapesDerek Bailey / electric guitarPat Thomas / electronics, keyboardTony Oxley / percussion
Recorded on 8th April 1992 at WDR, Cologne, by Werner Srasser & Peter Eichenseher. Edited by Ulrich Kurth. Design by Karen Brookman. Painting ‘The Singer’ by Tony Oxley. Photography by Max Lautenschlager. Post Production by John Haddon.
The Tony Oxley Quartet - s/t
"Oxley and Bailey first played together in 1963. Although they come from the same city and share the same kind of background their meeting was, in a way, coincidental. Bailey - 10 years older than Oxley - after some years working away from their hometown, returned for what was initially intended to be a brief family visit. The musical situation he found there persuaded him to stay. Oxley and Bailey then worked together, continuously and intensively, for the next three years and developed, with Gavin Bryars who was then a bass player, their own particular approach to free improvisation.
Since 1966, their working relationship, although intermittent, has continued in a multitude of different playing situations. Initially, during the late 60's and early 70's, much of it was in the context of Tony Oxley's small groups - quartet, quintet and sextet. From the late 70's on, it would sometimes be within Derek Bailey's improvisor's ensemble, Company.
Throughout, and increasingly in the 1990's, they have played in duo. These recordings, a London studio recording made in 1977, and a concert recorded in New York 1995, are testament to the remarkable richness and sustained variety of their musical relationship." - Simon Kelly
Derek Bailey / electric & acoustic guitars
Tony Oxley / acoustic & electric percussion, violin
Tracks 1-4: Recorded in Soho, London in February 1977 by Kevin Spencer. Tracks 5-10: Recorded at the Knitting Factory, NYC in September 1995 by James Mclean. PPhotographs of Derek Bailey & Tony Oxley in concert (France, May, 1997) by Franz-Heinrich Busch. Post Production & design by Karen Brookman.
Derek Bailey & Tony Oxley - Soho Suites
"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
Kicking off a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: Solo Guitar Volume 1, a reissue of Derek Bailey's Solo Guitar release on Incus in 1971, with additional tracks included on previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972. Recorded in 1971, this was Bailey's first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return. The LP was issued in two versions over the years -- Incus 2 and 2R -- with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey's performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars, and Willem Breuker. All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972, a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It's a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence, and wit. As throughout the series, the recordings are newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, remastered by Rashad Becker, and available for download exclusively here.
Derek Bailey / guitar, synthesizer
Tracks 1-13 recorded by Bob Woolford and Hugh Davies. Photographs by Roberto Masotti. Mastered by Rashad Becker.
Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Volume 1
The third release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: a reissue of Derek Bailey & Han Bennink, originally released in 1972. The tussling vegetables in Mal Dean's cover-sketch somehow befit perfectly this extraordinary duo of Bailey and the great Dutch drummer Han Bennink. Recorded in London in 1972, Incus 9 was their second record (after an Instant Composers Pool in 1969), becoming a blueprint and inspiration for generations of free-improvisers. It is paired here with a brilliant session from the following year, with the same power and friendly combativeness, and oodles of creativity, technique, and humor. It's obvious how much they loved playing together. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. Available exclusively for download here.
Derek Bailey / guitar, voice
Han Bennink / percussion, saw, reeds, brass, strings, voice
Engineered by Bob Woolford (tracks: A.1.-B.3.). Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover by Mal Dean
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink - Derek Bailey & Han Bennink
The second release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: three double-LPs of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo (HJR 200LP) and in duos with Anthony Braxton and Han Bennink(HJR 202LP), augmenting the original releases with marvelous, previously unissued music. Recorded in 1974, at the Royal Hotel in Luton, with Braxton playing soprano and alto saxophones, and Bb and contrabass clarinets. Two volumes were planned; only one was issued, till now. This was an early transatlantic meeting between the leading free improvisers. Many of Braxton's signature techniques and ideas were gestated in such sessions. It still brims with inquisitive musical creativity and knockabout jazzbo allusiveness. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. Available exclusively for download here.
Derek Bailey / electric guitar
Anthony Braxton / saxophones, clarinets
Recorded during a concert played at the Royal Hotel, Luton, England on July 2, 1974.
Sides 1 and 2 were issued as Royal Volume 1 in 1984; 3 and 4 are released here for the first time by Honest Jons. Thanks to Karen Brookman-Bailey and Tim Fletcher.
Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton - Royal
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
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
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
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
Recorded back in November 1996 at Moat Studios in London during the same sessions which brought about some of the Tokuma releases (Drawing Close, Attuning - The Respective Signs Of Order And Chaos), apparently. Features Bailey on electric guitar and Haino on vocals only. The two share a passion for the atonal, and a sense of humour - they called this record "Songs" after all.
Derek Bailey / electric guitar
Keiji Haino / vocals
Recorded November 1996. Recording and post-production at Moat Studios, London. Artwork by Haino. Design & layout by Karen Brookman.
Keiji Haino & Derek Bailey - Songs
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
"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
"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
"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