Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger - Tristan (Duo)

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. 


Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC 


1. Massy 1 - 4:05
2. Massy 2 - 5:05
3. Massy 3 - 6:40
4. Massy 4 - 3:25
5. Massy 5 - 1:30
6. Massy 6 - 2:23
7. The Visit - 3:02
8. Duo (Part 1) - 4:56
9. Duo (Part 2) - 11:28
10. Performance - 4:12
11. Preparation - 6:24
12. The Shadow - 10:36
13. Exits - 3:48


Derek Bailey

Derek Bailey was one of the most influential and adventurous experimental guitarists to come from England (Sheffield), evolving out of the trad-jazz scene of the fifties into the avant/jazz scene in '60s London. By the late sixties he was a member of the Joseph Holbrooke Trio, Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Music Improvisation Company which later became the amorphous Company under his leadership. These groups were at the birth and center of the British free-jazz scene. In the early seventies, Derek Bailey and Evan Parker started their own record label called Incus Records - one of the first artist-run labels. 

Although Derek played with members of the British free/jazz scene, he also forged relationships with a number of European players like Han Bennink & Peter Brötzmann, Japanese free players like Abe Kaoru, Toshinori Kondo, as well as American improvisers like Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and John Zorn to name a few. 

Derek organized an annual festival called Company Week in the 80's & 90's, which brought together a unique group of international improvisers from varied backgrounds.

"He was a man who repelled pretension, refused to be shoehorned into comfortable categories, and played amazing guitar." - John Butcher

"I do not subscribe to the idea that free improvisation began or ends with any individual. This only suggests that somehow the music Derek made was so individualistic that it failed to communicate anything beyond personal expression." - Eddie Prevost 

Tristan Honsinger

After studied classical music in Boston, Honsinger moved to Montreal in 1969, then to Europe in 74, started improvisation with Derek Bailey’s Company, Misha Mengelberg & Han Bennink’s ICP, Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity almost in the same period, also became a member of Cecil Tailor’s european unit. In 80’s he developed his own style of performance including acting, dance, narratives, started a group “This That and the Other” with Toshinori Kondo, Sean Bergin, Tiziana Simona. He has been composing for the group, string ensembles, chorus, mixed with various style of improvisation. Just Off is his latest ensemble founded in 2014 in Japan.