Derek Bailey – The Music Improvisation Company (1970)

Derek Bailey - The Music Improvisation Company (1970)
Artist: Derek Bailey
Album: The Music Improvisation Company
Genre: Free Improvisation, Noise
Label: ECM Records
Year Of Release: 1970
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)

1. Third Stream Boogaloo
2. Dragon Path
3. Packaged Eel
4. Untitled no.1
5. Untitled no. 2
6. Tuck
7. Wolfgang Van Gangbang


Derek Bailey is a pioneer of British free improvisation, and although this is one of his earliest recordings, it houses much of what he would come to be known for: microscopic precision, a love of empty space, a supremely fractured aesthetic, and a subtle disregard for the rules. As with his later solo outings and fruitful collaborations with John Zorn and other bastions of the avant-garde, Bailey brings full commitment to the table in this early, digitally reissued ECM recording. Yet how to describe it? A possessed duck call tripping down a flight of stairs into a pile of discarded instruments? A broken jack-in-the-box heavily amplified on cheap speakers? A radio being tortured to give up its innermost secrets? None of these comes close to mapping the album’s rambling course. Still, the results are consistent. So much so that track titles like “Packaged Eel” do nothing to deepen our understanding of the goings on. As can be expected from the roster, the musicianship is of indisputable quality. Evan Parker awes with his outbursts of indiscernible melody while Bailey cultivates an anonymous approach, cutting in and out from behind a surgeon’s mask.

The Music Improvisation Company is nothing more or less than what one makes of it. Its difficulties are also what make it go down smoothly. A mysterious morsel that yields a new flavor with every taste.

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