Derek Bailey

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Lace Review

by Steve Loewy

Derek Bailey's solo work is so unusual that each recording is cause for celebration. This one is no different, as the improvisations comprising this CD are exquisite testimony to the boundless creative energy unleashed by this master of free music. Recorded digitally from a concert in Los Angeles, Bailey plays his 1936 Epiphone Triumph acoustic guitar with a cello pickup for three numbers lasting nearly an hour. The results are exhilarating, as the guitarist sounds surprisingly accessible and at times almost melodic. Never lapsing into cliché, and eschewing predetermined patterns, this performance bears close analysis and concentration, although it can be enjoyed casually as well. Enigmatically of the moment and timeless, Lace has the feel of artistic invention, the momentum building, a canvas of delicacy melding into intense streams of sound.

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