Derek Bailey

Trio Playing

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The word "playing" is operative in this title, because here this trio has no intention of doing anything but. While there are seven selections noted here, all but one could have been from the same take. This is Bailey at his most playful, which means at his most out. This music is marginal even for him. His engagement of the acoustic guitar primarily as a percussion instruments ("I'd Love a Key" and "Abode To") is only offset by his absolute delight in becoming a tonal foil for Butcher, who tries fewer and fewer notes to extract longer and longer tones almost across the board. Oren Marshall's tuba, on the other hand, seems to have free rein of the lower register of the playing field here; it plays rhythms, it bleats notes in quick succession or in drawn out breath exercises, and always flows toward Bailey's guitar. The middle section of "Out of the Deep" is almost a conventional jazz tune as a result, and would be if Butcher didn't freak out and try to play too many notes in the interval. Bailey moves into a scalar study of Amaj, and collapses the whole thing, to Marshall's delight, as he becomes a kind of singer above the din. Playing a series of melodies that stand at sharp odds with Butcher's bleating saxophones lines. No one ever said playing was competitive. This is a trio playing, with each other, and playing tricks on each other. Great fun.

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