Wednesday, 18 March, 2009

Derek Bailey - Mirakle (2000)

In recent years something of a subproject has developed in the Derek Bailey canon, seemingly at the prompting of John Zorn--the Derek Bailey Power Trio. Prior to this disc was the Arcana group that recorded _The Last Wave_ (Bailey plus Tony Williams & Bill Laswell), & a pair of discs with Japan's The Ruins. _Mirakle_ finds him in the company of Jamaaladeen Tacuma & Calvin Weston, & it's indeed something of a miracle that this encounter turns out well. What's striking to this listener is the amount of interaction among the musicians--on his own ground in free-improv situations Bailey frequently avoids obvious interplay or dialogue, but here there's little sense of parallel paths: check out, for instance, his brilliant bobbing & weaving over & under the head-nodding groove that opens "What It Is". Frequently Bailey simply ignores pitch entirely to scrub rhythmically at the strings to create counterrhythms; or he will let a harsh ringing note hang over the tumult below. Actually, I suspect many blindfolded listeners might suppose this a particularly offbeat James Blood Ulmer date.

Listening to this album one hears a strange meeting of two musical worlds--American funk & English avantgarde improv--& one's sense is expanded of what these styles can do, & how flexible they can be. Tacuma and Weston are terrific--it's remarkable how Tacuma's feline, rubbery lines set up grooves that push ahead without locking things down. The improvisations are basically jams in which the American musicians set a groove up & then the trio picks it apart until it falls to pieces, only to be replaced by another. A common method of proceeding--but what's rare in such jamming, & impressive here, is how the segues never seem to be treading water in search of the next idea: this is music packed with moment-by-moment detail & eventfulness.

A strange, compelling & rather addictive album: rather unexpectedly for an album by Derek Bailey it's, er, a lot of fun. A really fine CD: fans of rarefied Brit-improv will probably hate it, but I suspect James Blood Ulmer fans will love it.... [in amazon customers reviews]

Jamaaladeen Tacuma - bass
Calvin Weston - drums
Derek Bailey - guitar

1. Moment
2. What it is
3. This Time
4. Nebeula
5. Present
6. S' Now



Anonymous said...
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cm said...

I haven't been this much surprised by a Derek recording since Ballads! This is a fantastic experiment by the master no doubt! Thumbs-up!

±± said...

truly fantastic record! derek is backed by a top solid rhythm section and this is no doubt the funkiest album i heard in the last decade. thanks for introducing this to me, mr. j.r.!
: P

exilestreet said...

Another great post and thanx for this...

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Derek Bailey is without doubts one of my favorite guitarists. When he plays the guitar he transmits something special that make feel so happy. I admire him so much.

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this disc is a great prove of the talent, the author really put soul, live and heart in this work, no matter if you aren't a follower of this music, as music connoisseur I have to recognize the incredible effort made by the singer and all the production team.

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