Kicking off a series of collaborations between Honest Jon’s and Incus: three double LPs (this being the second) of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo and in duos with Anthony Braxton and Han Bennink, augmenting the original releases with marvellous, previously unissued music.Recorded in 1971, Solo Guitar Volume 1 was Bailey’s first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return.
The LP was issued in two versions over the years â€” Incus 2 and 2R â€” with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey’s performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars and Willem Breuker.
All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972; a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It’s a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence and wit.