How many things do happen on Christmas time? We are in 2001, in New York, Derek Bailey and his wife are in the big apple, the British guitarist has come here specifically to buy a new archtop guitar, what better than to call John Zorn and Ikue Mori for a traditional Christmas dinner?
You know how these things go, a new guitar, some nice glass of wine, the pleasant company … Derek began playing for his guests. No anti-idiomatic improvisation, it’s Christmas, but some standards, of course, revisited in his own way. Zorn, who knows how things goes, takes the ball. A few days after Bailey enters the recording studio and record the seven pieces that were published in 2007 for the Tzadik label.
Derek Bailey is in great shape, a true gentleman who manages with the acoustic instrument to paint small charms, to reinterpret old songs giving them a new and exciting form and showing their own, very strong, expressive autonomy and that are the most important exciting that you can ask to a fearless explorer of music and the instrument as was the great Bailey.
Sure … we can ask ourselves if we had to wait for Bailey and a blessed Christmas night to understand that a standard can tell us more about itself than the normal 32-bar structure and the usual harmonic-melodic-time traditionally played?
Bailey plays to hide, to cut, grind in every harmonic molodica, timbre fiber, with its improvisational form that is at the same time, primitive and refined, giving us almost an hour of great music and great ideas.
Sir Bailey … I miss you …