Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Derek Bailey
Concert In Milwaukee: Solo Guitar

Incus CD-62


Fantastic archival CD that presents a landmark live recording from improvising guitarist Derek Bailey taken from a concert at Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 31st March 1983. Originally released as a private cassette by Derek in 1983, with the intention of selling it on his Japanese tour but after the tour was cancelled the cassettes were returned with only 150 copies surviving the journey, making it one of the rarest Bailey artefacts. His playing here is simply fantastic. George Lewis makes the point in his excellent liner notes that the music’s “prosaic, quotidian mien evoked in me a sense of the sheer loneliness of the solo concert” and it’s true that there’s something particularly stark and lonesome about Bailey’s form, especially on the electric cuts, with even hints of blues parlance in some of the note combinations. There’s a lightness of touch to some of the tracks, with Bailey washing his hand over the string and generating delicate rushes of overtone, that is quite remarkable and his hand/mind balance is particularly sharp, resulting in some of his most circuitous and bafflingly brilliant constructions. Highly recommended!