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Opprobrium - Trio Playing

Derek Bailey, John Butcher & Oren Marshall

Speaking as someone turned on to the man by Aida and his duets with Braxton (which, as anyone knows, profess passion and singularity like nothing else in the audible sphere), congeniality in Bailey's improvisation seems far gone, and this work is a demonstration of the further fracturing of his already highly abstract approach.
The rawness of this recording adds a beautifully voyeuristic dimension, and captures a lack of inhibition from the three performers involved. Leaping and fiery harmonics swell and dart about each other ad nauseam, with the conglomeration of Marshall's tuba and Butcher's soprano (and later tenor) lasting a good few minutes until Derek's volume pedal releases the smoky burnt-out electric tone that's been stifled inside the dusty volume pot for too many releases, erupting in a breathy cloud which lays a hazy skyline of feedback over the whole session.
As far as improvisations with obscure makeup go, you could do a lot worse (like a 2CD of bagpipe duets), though I'd have to say the candidness of it all makes it one for enthusiasts.
This judgement begs the question - what is the definitive document of Bailey's approach? I'd have to say all of his recordings rather than just one. Further evidence that his realisations are in a constant flux that is quite stunning to behold.

© Dean Roberts - Opprobrium