Derek Bailey

Solo Guitar, Vol. 2

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In his liner notes to this disc, extracted from his book on improvisation, British guitarist Derek Bailey writes, "...maintaining solo playing which remains meaningful as improvisation is an elusive business, not least because the easier it becomes to perform solo the harder it becomes to improvise solo...." Bailey's insistence on "non-idiomatic improvisation" requires not only that he not fall into patterns derived from other musical forms, but that he also not be trapped in his own habits or ruts -- a tall order indeed. Guitarist/composer Jim O'Rourke has noted that even high-level free improvisation tends to generate its own recognizable sound-world so that one might, say, immediately identify a Evan Parker piece and predict, to some extent, its structure and anticipate its musical elements. While Bailey's style is easily recognized, he has shown a remarkable ability to wring not only altogether new sounds from the guitar, but to invent entirely new approaches to individual improvisations.

Solo Guitar, Vol. 2 is one of Bailey's most successful recordings and a shining example of his extraordinary imagination and integrity. The pieces, titled only for the clock time at which they were recorded, are utterly assured even while venturing into territory that no one else has explored. Bailey seems incapable of not having a wealth of ideas at his fingertips. Think of it as being in the company of a master conversationalist, telling stories the likes of which you've never heard before. This is Derek Bailey, one of the finest storytellers around.

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