Avant garde guitarist, Derek Bailey (1930-2005) gained his first professional experience as a session musician with mainstream singers including Gracie Fields (footage of which we would love to see...). Bailey was already experimenting with free playing by the time he moved to London and joined the collective that grew around drummer John Stevens' Little Theatre Club sessions in the late 1960s. Here he met and worked with Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland who collectively recorded 'Karyobin' as the 1968 incarnation of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Bailey was able to record prolifically from 1970 with the formation of the musician-owned label Incus. Recordings with Anthony Braxton, Gavin Bryars, John Zorn, Pat Metheny, Tony Oxley, and tap dancer Will Gaines reflect his open mind and rewarding but challenging approach to free improvisation and an exploration of the guitar. Bailey wrote and presented a 1992 series for Channel 4, 'On The Edge', which was based on his book 'Improvisation - Its Nature And Practice In Music' (1980).
Find Out More:
Spontaneous Music Ensemble – Withdrawal 1966-7 (Emanem 1999)
Outcome with Steve Lacy (1983)