CD Ballads [Derek Bailey] [CD] [1 disc] (CD 988872),
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Ballads [Derek Bailey] [CD] [1 disc]

  • 1. Laura
    2. What's New?
    3. When Your Lover Has Gone
    4. Stella by Starlight
    5. My Melancholy Baby
    6. My Buddy
    7. Gone With the Wind
    8. Rockin' Chair
    9. Body and Soul
    10. Gone With the Wind
    11. Rockin' Chair
    12. You Go to My Head
    13. Georgia on My Mind
    14. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7607

  • Credits
    ProducerDerek Bailey
    EngineerToby Hrycek-Robinson

    Includes liner notes by Marc Ribot.
    Personnel: Derek Bailey (guitar).
    Liner Note Author: Marc Ribot.
    It's not as though Derek Bailey hadn't given a hint or two before. On his wonderful Drop Me Off at 96th (on Scatter), he tantalized listeners with a couple of bars of "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." Even those who might have preferred that he stood steadfast and true to the non-idiomatic free improv "tradition" might have wavered slightly. Still, for those so inclined, Ballads might be a bittersweet experience. They might prefer to understand that Bailey was quite capable of playing in a traditionally, romantically beautiful manner but feel that he had no need to prove it, rather having him wend his unique way through a strange landscape. However, met on its own terms, Ballads is stunningly gorgeous, lovely melodies like "Laura" being passionately stroked even as they abut against Bailey's questioning angularities and brusque, impolite commentary. The pure sound he elicits from his acoustic guitar is mouthwatering, so reverberant and alive. When he absolutely wrenches the melody of "Stella By Starlight" from the poor body of his instrument, it's enough to leave one gasping. And longtime Bailey fans might simply shake their heads in disbelief when he strums with schmaltz -- as well as beauty -- the sentimental theme from "My Buddy" before taking it on a circuitous walk. Whether one is glad or distressed that he chose to dip his toes into these waters, Ballads is a singularly lovely recording, one that certainly stands out in Bailey's oeuvre and one that is nigh impossible not to smile about and linger over. Highly recommended. ~ Brian Olewnick

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