Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey: First Duo Concert

Album review
Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey: First Duo Concert

Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey

First Duo Concert

Label: Emanem
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

In 1974, Anthony Braxton was in the forefront of American musicians pushing the parameters of free jazz, while Derek Bailey was among the most important of a London clique that had developed a style of improvisation more radical than the music of continental European contemporaries like Gunter Hampel or Peter Brötzmann. This Braxton/Bailey meeting caught both players during transitional periods (though one might argue that much of both men’s careers consist of such periods). Bailey had moved from a more radical phase during which his vocabulary consisted almost entirely of sounds made by extended techniques, devoid of any actual pitches, let alone chords. Here he mostly uses an electric guitar with sustain pedals, and he plays plenty of pitches, yet still eschewing any references to tonality. Braxton, whose playing seemed so extreme to American ears, often sounds the straight man here, especially on flute (he also plays three saxophones and two clarinets). But the success of this record is not that either man is shown to greatest advantage; the Chicago and London scenes that nurtured Braxton and Bailey both emphasized truly collective improvisation, and this enabled them to create something completely new and unique that stands the test of time very well. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey
  • CD

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