Yes, I am giving Mr.Bailey full marks for this one, as I would have done for much of his recorded work. Nevertheless, I must admit that my favou
rable opinion for Derek Bailey's guitar exploits, derives mainly from the fact that I myself am a guitarist and very much interested in free improvisation. As such, I find DB's playing in this CD inspired and exciting, as well as, a source of inspiration for me as an improvising musician. Indeed, I think that his solo efforts help the listener to appreciate what he does, more than some of his work with other musicians, and this is certainly one of his best. However, the imagination and creativity displayed here, is not everyone's cup of tea. Let us be honest about it: to most casual listeners, this would sound like someone fooling around with an instrument he doesn't know how to play. A guitarist of course should know very well, that it would be impossible for someone who can't handle the guitar, to do what Derek does. It takes years of effort, not to mention disregard for negative criticism, to be able to play and sound like this.
Anyway, the clarity of the two long, imaginative pieces (plus a shorter one) will be a real treat for DB's fans. As for those who are simply curious, as well as open minded, maybe this will help them to expand their ideas about what music can be.
Akis Boukalis, Athens, Greece, EU.