Derek Bailey and Andrea Centazzo – Drops LP
Reissue, originally released in 1977. In the history of free improvised music, there has been arguably no greater advocate for the idiom’s power and potential than the English guitarist Derek Bailey. Fiercely principled, between his emergence during the 1960s and his death in 2005, he cut a wide path, positioning this music at the height of creativity, transpiring in real time, and a means through which people from diverse backgrounds could come together, express, and commune. For Bailey, “playing is about playing with other people… Improvisation is a process that gets relationships sorted out.” Among many great examples of this within Bailey’s sprawling discography, a stand out is his 1977 duo LP Drops — originally issued as the third album on Ictus — recorded with the Italian percussionist/drummer Andrea Centazzo. Capturing the guitarist during one of his most prolific and creatively visionary periods — overflowing with explosive clarity, dialogic energy, and imagination — he clearly found a perfect foil in Centazzo, who recalls of the sessions: “The kaleidoscopic quality of Drops was created by this restraint of performing limits, i.e. the choice of instrumental timbres, dynamics and metronome speeds to suit each piece. We explored some aspects of our improvisational art, gleaned the best elements from our baggage of music memories and exposed them clearly and confidently.” Comprising nine individual improvisations, Dropsencounters each of its players at their best, finding a strange middle ground between the intuitive logics of their instruments; Bailey’s tones taking on decidedly percussive approaches, while Centazzo’s fractured polyrhythms and beats often veer toward the presence of a notable tonality. Remarkably expressive and diverse in the approach of each piece, Drops presents creative interplay at its most striking and challenging, rethinking the terms of musicality and collaboration every step of the way. Flurries of rattle back and forth, sculpting barbed and pointillistic landscapes of texture, stripped of reference and precedent, and abstract as real time organized sound comes. Edition of 250.