Derek Bailey
Aida


4.2
excellent

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
July 28th, 2018 | 10 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eat your heart out, signed...

It can be said that the late Derek Bailey played according to his own rules on what defined 'proper' musicianship; in his fervent plucking and in his bizarrely atonal strides across the fretboard, Bailey defied the previously-known conventions of guitar music as one of the forefathers of modern improvisational music. Influenced by the likes of jazz guitarists such as Charlie Christian and Oscar Moore, as well as composer Anton Webern, Bailey originally took after Webern's style of tightly-knit compositions, which in due time, would also become a defining part of Bailey's repertoire as a free improv guitarist later on in his career. Studying his works intently, Bailey would break away from strictly composed music in favor of spontaneous free-form works, which would often find the guitarist hitting one of his many creative strides, although this was not always the case throughout his career. Concerning his works' consistency and quality, you can find several of his records to be among the best of the free improv scene, or amidst the lesser inclusions in the Derek Bailey canon, although Bailey certainly was not quite in his element in the confines of the studio as he was in a live setting -- which brings us to Aida.

Aida is perhaps Bailey's defining work, the album that can be seen not only as his greatest achievement but also as one of his most accessible records as well, although this second statement is definitely moreso up to personal opinion than to an actual consensus. Bailey often timed his live improvisations to pace himself accordingly as to not let the moment slip away nor linger longer than he would deem necessary, as heard on the side-long cut "Paris." There's a genius to Bailey in a live setting that couldn't ever be captured in the studio, as "Paris" shows, in which Bailey ventures into this lengthy improvisation that is not bound to the co-operation of a collaborator or to the expectations of the audience, but instead held in this greatly condensed form thanks to Bailey setting a watch to inevitably cut his sprawling tangent short. Aida's second-half double feature of "Niigata Snow" and "An Echo in Another's Mind" both don't necessarily reach the same astonishing standard that "Paris" does, but cement Bailey's legitimacy as one of the masters of improvisational music in such a convincing way that it found me delving through a great deal of his back catalogue over a number of weeks to a point of where it was all I listened to. For how hideous his playing may sound at times, Bailey's style has this wonderful lack of pretense that makes his records, Aida especially, greatly refreshing to listen to.




Recent reviews by this author
Keith Fullerton Whitman GeneratorTim Hecker Konoyo
Animal Collective Tangerine ReefBoris Akuma no Uta
Pram Dark IslandBeach House 7
user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2018


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

love this



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KFPLJkH2fI

Digging: Nina Simone - Wild is the Wind

TheSpaceMan
July 28th 2018


11691 Comments


awesome good review

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2018


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

spaceman bless

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2018


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gorgeously written review, but I'm reaaallly iffy on the album: Bailey doesn't elicit many interesting sounds out of his guitar (an instrument, btw, with a lot of room to manouevre in), preferring to overdose on/ abuse harmonics in between clusters that aren't actually ugly or even unmelodic at all.



like seriously. the fucking harmonics. ease up man.



i also think the ground he explores is really limited and not particular diverse throughout the tracks and the whole venture is passionless (until he decides it's HARMONICS TIME) and yeah not sure about this album at all eh

Digging: ITEM - Sad Light

robin
Emeritus
July 28th 2018


4527 Comments


sputnik reviewing derek, v nice

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2018


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Should note Honest Jon's have been reissuing some of the seminal Bailey releases and collaborations, with this being the most recent (came out about three weeks ago) and it's absolutely gorgeous to look at...prettier than the music, but a bit costly since it's an import.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2018


9144 Comments


sounds interesting.. will check.. review is stellar, but what else could one expect from HoneyDrippertronics..

Digging: Sonny Sharrock - Black Woman

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2018


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

perhaps something wildly underwhelming, maybe?

SandwichBubble
August 1st 2018


8422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm 3 days late, how you guys doin

Digging: Marika Papagika - Marika Papagika Vol. 1: Recordings 1918-1929

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2018


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Idk just chillin thingken about harmonics wyd



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy