I wasn't planning on posting another entry here until after the New Year, but the news of Derek Bailey's death came as a shock to me. I haven't followed his career that closely, but his book Improvisation had a huge impact on me. I'm not sure how it holds up as a scholarly work, but being shown how the thread of improvisation is woven throughout the history of music was a revelation for me.
I checked out some of his early recordings last night and I had another realization. Listening to his early recordings I finally was able to draw a line between his work and Bill Frisell's playing. This came as a complete surprise to me as I'd always wondered what Bill was channelling on the segues between tunes on his live trio album from the 80's. That album was a huge influence on me, both my approach to the instrument and conceptually. I'm still trying to figure out how to capture the beautiful abandon and angular melodicism displayed on that recording. This gives me another piece of the puzzle!
Rest in peace, Derek!
Derek Bailey's record label, Incus
Site with audio and video clips, etc.