Derek Bailey

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It's hard to imagine a musician as radical, unconventional, and "un-standard" as Derek Bailey willfully recording an album of standards, but that is exactly what the sonic maverick has done on this album, released posthumously in 2007. Even more surprisingly, Bailey's approach to classics like "Laura," "Stella by Starlight," and "Body and Soul" is often quite melodic, coaxing the melodies from his solo guitar amid an ornamentation of harmonics, thumped bass strings, and fractured timing. Still, the outing is far from traditional: Bailey deconstructs these tunes as only someone with a deep commitment to free, improvisatory principle would have the skill--or the courage--to do.

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