For the uninitiated, Jamie Muir was percussionist for King Crimson during its Larks' Tongues in Aspic period. Since that time, he has concentrated on playing in the free improv arena, and has interacted with just about everybody on the British side of things. This date with guitarist Derek Bailey is in many ways quite remarkable. In these four improvisations, Bailey himself attempts to become a nearly lyrical player, sensitively looking for timbral elements within his already sonant tones, and Muir moves to underline that aspect of his playing. This is not to say that dynamics and violence are not found here -- quite the contrary, they're just more closely observed. The title track, clocking in just shy of half an hour, is for practical matters the hinge piece of the album, though it comes last in sequence. From random plinks and plonks, where Bailey accompanies Muir as a percussionist in the way he uses his strings and Muir dances all over the mix, a kind of pattern develops where dynamic threads are woven and carried forth into others, always leaving the fully articulated one as the process begets the creation of another. This systematic approach is different for both men, and results in a kind of ideational clarity that lesser players would love to emulate. The result is as open as silence itself, albeit a more playful gazer into its open mouth by this pair of yobs who are winking and laughing.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek