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Henry Kaiser interviews Derek Bailey (Dec. 7, 1989)

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 122 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: C Amirkhanian

From a program recorded on December 7, 1989, Henry Kaiser interviews fellow avant-garde jazz guitarist Derek Bailey. Bailey is an English guitarist who started out as a rather conventional commercial session player, but in the early 1960s he met Gavin Bryars and other experimental avant-garde musicians and soon forged his own unique style of guitar playing. His distinctive playing typically features unusual notes and timbres, often in unique juxtaposition to each other, as well as different collections of intervals not normally emphasized by more mainstream musicians. Kaiser, a talented guitarist himself, interrogates Bailey about his various techniques, getting into the details of spacing, fingering, and the interplay between consciousness intention and free improvisation, posing the question; does one think what to play, or think about what you play. They also discuss the history of improvisation and how it is the origin of much if not all music. However they also note that as that type of music gains in popularity it often becomes more constrained and less free. They discuss the role of improvisation in classical Indian music, the jazz music of John Coltrane, the cadenzas of traditional concertos, and even church organ music. Bailey has written extensively on improvisation in world music, and bemoans the fact that many actual improvisers shy away from the label for commercial and other reasons. This is a fascinating and far ranging discussion highlighted by rare recordings and some live improvisations by Bailey, who comes across as the epitome of the modest and genteel Englishman.

Musical Selections:  [unidentified guitar and wind instrument music] (5:27) -- The Lost Chord, for guitar (ca. 1976) (1:45) / Derek Bailey -- K, for electric guitar (ca. 1985) (5:05) / Derek Bailey -- [live improvisation for guitar] (0:53) / Derek Bailey -- ATG 9 (ca. 1980) (10:06) / Company -- [live improvisation for guitar] (0:47) / Derek Bailey -- Improvisation, Pt. 21 (1978) (9:28) / Derek Bailey, Motoharu Yoshizawa, & Toshi Tsuchitori -- HB/AB/DB (8:41) / Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, & Han Bennink -- [live improvisation for guitar] (0:21) / Derek Bailey -- [unidentified guitar music] (5:28) / Derek Bailey -- [unidentified monologue on the effects of aging with guitar] (5:32) / Derek Bailey -- [unidentified guitar with percussion] (0:48) / Derek Bailey
Performers:  Derek Bailey, guitars (all)
David Holland, bass (ATG 9 ; )
George Lewis, trombone (ATG 9)
Evan Parker, saxophones (ATG 9)
Toshi Tsuchitori, percussion (Improvisation, Pt. 21)
Motoharu Yoshizawa, bass (Improvisation, Pt. 21)
Anthony Braxton, flute, saxophones, etc... (HB/AB/DB)
Han Bennink, percussion, etc... (HB/AB/DB)
Genres:  Jazz; Free Improvisation
Subject:  Jazz; Improvisation (Music); Guitar music (Jazz)
People:  Kaiser, Henry ; Bailey, Derek, 1930-2005 ; Holland, Dave, 1946- ; Lewis, George, 1952- ; Parker, Evan ; Yoshizawa, Motoharu; Tsuchitori, Toshi ; Braxton, Anthony ; Bennink, Han
Recording Date:  12/7/1989
First Broadcast Date:  12/7/1989
 
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