Derek Bailey

Ore

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Stemming from a London studio session held over two days in March 2000, Ore presents the first recorded collaboration between guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Eddie Prévost, two pillars of the British free music scene since the 1960s (a similar and contemporaneous encounter between AMM and Spontaneous Music Ensemble legacies can be experienced on Evan Parker and Keith Rowe's CD Dark Rags). Within the presence of almost 60 years of combined experience in free improvisation, the listener is entitled to expect top-of-the barrel musicianship and synergy. In this (and every other) regard, Ore delivers the goods. Prévost's feather-like touch turns out to be a perfect companion for Bailey's abstract strings of notes. The set begins with a 17-minute improv, "Bismuth," followed by seven pieces in the five-to-eight-minute range. The long track contains very nice moments, but the shorter ones feature more condensed material. "Nickel" is a beautiful example of delicate impressionism. On "Ruthenium," Bailey strums his acoustic guitar, creating a surprising kind of neo-folk mood. "Titanium" brings the album to an end with soft cymbal work and guitar feedback notes -- a nice closer. Although firmly rooted in the British free improv tradition, Ore feels less dry than what could have been expected, making it a nice (if not essential) addition to both musicians' already ample discographies. This CD was Canadian label Arrival Records' first release.

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