This must have been a fairy tale. Two young Canadian improvisers from Edmonton, Alberta (guitarist/trumpeter Vadim Budman and percussionist Ron de Jong, working together as the Vertrek Ensemble), with only one album under their belts, took a plane to London, England, to record a session with guitar master Derek Bailey. The session happened on May 13, 1998, and Departures, released on Vertrek's own Volatile Records, turns out to be a convincing album. The promises buried in Another Idea of North, the duo's first CD, have flourished into a strong form of improvisation, inspired by Eugene Chadbourne's sense of the sloppy and apparently incoherent and Derek Bailey's more introspective form of improvisational exploration. Budman and de Jong are less busy; they listen more. Budman's trumpet work fits Bailey's guitar nicely -- one can't help but notice that he didn't put his guitar against Bailey's, although he does play some on a duo with de Jong and, in "Stockwell Suite," a string of solos. The most memorable moments are the Bailey/de Jong duos, mostly "A Moving Part of a Motion, a Discovery" and "The Steeples of His City Clanked and Sprang." Departures is a leap forward for the Vertrek Ensemble and it bought them an invitation to the 2000 Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture