Derek Bailey (guitarist)

Derek Bailey ( born January 29, 1930 in Sheffield, † December 25, 2005 in London) was a British guitarist and improviser. He was as " uncompromising avant-garde " of the first European musicians who were concerned with free, thematically unbound improvisation and improvisation music opened to electronic music.

  • 4.1 Lexical Entries

Life and work

Bailey learned since his early childhood guitar; He received first suggestions from his grandfather and an uncle, both professional musicians. Since 1951 he played for ten years popular music as a soloist, accompanist or orchestra musicians. He played on the radio, television, clubs, in dance and concert halls.

For Bailey's musical development first collaboration with bassist Gavin Bryars and drummer Tony Oxley in the based in Sheffield Combo Joseph Holbrooke crucial had been. The group was founded in 1963 and initially played conventional modern jazz, but soon turned to advanced musical trends. While Bryars began to increase its interest in composition, was the radical "free" improvisation for Bailey the dominant starting point of his musical creativity. Reinforced from the middle of 1965, and only after his move to London occurred on Bailey as free improvisation musicians. In 1968 he founded with saxophonist Evan Parker and Hugh Davies electronics the Music Improvisation Company, which was soon supplemented by percussionist Jamie Muir. Another highlight contemporary improvised music made ​​after 1970 also the free radical- playing trio " Iskra 1903 " with Barry Guy and Paul Rutherford dar.

In the same year Bailey founded with Evan Parker and Tony Oxley record label Incus, which is regarded as the first independent, self-managed by musicians record company in England. Bailey has performed with major improvisers of free jazz (eg, Peter Brötzmann, Han Bennink, Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Louis Moholo and Tristan Honsinger ), but also as a solo guitarist. He played both electric and acoustic guitar, but also occurred as a reciter. On the theory of ( free ) improvisation he has also worked in musicology. This resulted in a book release and a four-part documentary series on improvisation in various styles of music. Entitled On the Edge This series was sent in 1992 on Channel 4 the BBC.

Bailey is now regarded as one of the outstanding pioneers of modern European improvised music, which - not least because of Bailey's own musical creations - could at least solve in the 1970s by the example of the U.S. free jazz and a separate European concept of musical improvisation established, with the so-called Free Music temporarily fell into the proximity of certain currents of contemporary music, which spawned in the 1960s, quite independently of the contemporary developments in jazz improvisation ensemble own (see, Gruppo di Nuova Improvvisazione Consonanza ). Bailey remained open for occasional cross-over projects, such as in the fusion area with Arcana.

Prizes and awards

1977 awarded him the Kritikerpoll downbeat as a guitarist who deserved more attention from. His 1980 solo album recorded Aida was included in the list Wire The Wire 's " 100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening ) ".

Publications by Derek Bailey (selection)

  • Derek Bailey, Improvisation: Art without work ( translated by Hermann J. Metzler, and Alexander von Schlippenbach ) Wolke Verlag, Hofheim, 1987, ISBN 3-923997-02-7


Derek Bailey has published hundreds of shots. This is a small selection of outstanding examples:

  • Iskra 1903, with Derek Bailey (guitar ), Paul Rutherford ( trombone) and Barry Guy ( double bass). Incus 1970.
  • Free Improvisation, with Derek Bailey (guitar ), Paul Rutherford ( trombone) and Barry Guy ( double bass). German Grammophon 1973.
  • The Sinking of the Titanic, The Cockpit Ensemble ( Derek Bailey, Michael Nyman, John Nash, John White, Sandra Hill and Gavin Bryars ) 1975.
  • Machine Music, with Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Brian Eno and Gavin Bryars. Obscure 1978.
  • Ballads, Derek Bailey solo on acoustic guitar. Tzadik 2002.