A few bits and pieces from the festive period.
Derek Bailey died on Christmas Day. He is regarded as the major guitarist in the improv game, but he remains a guy I've read more about rather than I've actually heard his music. One reason why is that many of his records have been out of print for quite a while. Another is that whenever I was going to get any recommendations, the various sources I used recommended totally different albums. Allmusic rates two live albums, Derek Bailey & Han Bennink from 1972 and Outcome from 1983, as well as his recording of Aida from 1980. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, on the other hand, rate Domestic and Public Pieces and his duet album with Barre Phillips from 1980, Figuring. Allmusic are not too keen on the latter. Other sources rate yet other recordings. The only record I have of him is the charming Karyobin he made as a part of the 1968-version of The Spontanious Music Ensamble, which also included Dave Holland and Evan Parker. I've read several interviews with Bailey over the years, and he has always seemed as a reflective and smart guy, but I realize that I don't know enough about him to write a piece myself, so I'll let other do the work for me here, here and here.
I'm always excited when I read people I respect writing about their love for The Minutemen, like Sasha Frere-Jones and David Reese did just recently. We are still waiting for that documentary to appear on DVD!
When trying to find the various links used in this post I came across an interview with Albert Ayler done with Down Beat back in 1966.
I will try to finalize my 2005-list soon, but note this: As far as I'm concerned, The Arcade Fire's Funeral and The Go! Team's Thunder, Lightning, Strike were released in 2004. In this day and age, what whit increased opportunities for on-line shopping and the availability of imported records, these records and others were available to many when they were released, and I can't be bothered to find a spot for the among my list of records from 2005. Also, I have found it a bit difficult to update my list of reissues. Among other things, I can't decide whether to include reissues of albums that have been available for some time, or not. An example; The top spot is handed to Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity which was added because I found out it had been listed as a reissue this year, although it is actually just a re-pressing of the same reissue that has been available for some years now. Nevertheless, It is one of my all time favorite jazz records, so if I'm to include it it needs to have the top spot. I might have to rethink this before I close the list.