Music Reviews from the Staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House


July 9, 2018
Aida - Derek Bailey
Label: Honest Jon's Records
Catalog #: HJRLP206
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: June, 2018
Media: lpx2 entry
Sides A & B originally released on lp as INCUS 40 in 1980.
Sides C & D recorded solo for Charles Fox's Radio 3 programme Jazz in Britain in 1980 and previously unreleased.

The album of solo guitar improvisations, Aida, "Dedicated to the memory of Aida Akira 1946-1978", was first released on lp by Incus Records in 1980. Its only reissue had been on compact disc by Dexter's Cigar in 1996. This reissue represents the first reissue on vinyl and the only version to include the second album of additional improvisations.

Of the seven Incus releases reissued by Honest Jon's Records since December, 2017, Aida may be our favorite yet. Other than that, we don't have any interest in providing superlatives to describe the music of Derek Bailey. Here, we shall limit ourselves to noting that on the additional material, Bailey speaks while he plays, as he sometimes did, an embellishment to his playing that appealed to many listeners. Below we provide our home-made transcription of his monologue.

Side C: Introductions

Good Evening.
I hope you don't mind if I say a few words.
If you can't hear them
Or you can hear them
But you don't understand them, it's alright.
They don't really mean anything.
Their purpose
to occupy the left-hand side of the brain
while I'm playing.
Some people smoke.
Some drink.
I talk to myself.
is the sound of a breaking string.
By now
You may have noticed
A certain lack of variety.
Well, stringent economics
have taken place here at the BBC
and I shall be playing
the whole of this broadcast
on my own.
No Miles Davis.
No BBC World Symphony Orchestra.
No [unintelligible].
No Adams Singers.
However, here is
Charles Fox
and the explanation.

Side D: Inaudibles

To those
Regular listeners
To "Jazz In Britain"
Who might be wondering,
I would like to say
That I am definitely British.
As for this stuff
I like to think of it as
As a kind of music,
Mere vibrations of the Timpanic membrane.
For further clarification,
I would like to quote
Li Tzu
Who was, as you remember,
A distinguished Chinese free player in the Tang dynasty.
He said,
"The genesis of sound
Is in
The sense of hearing.
That which makes sound
is itself inaudible."
In other words,
Don't blame me.

The staff of the PPPH also reviewed the first three entries in the series of Derek Bailey reissues by Honest Jon's Records, when they were released in December, 2017 here. They also reviewed briefly another entry in this series, Duo by Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger, in May, 2018 here.



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