Death of a legend

I don’t know too many of the details at the moment, but I’ve just read on another list that the great free improv pioneer Derek Bailey died on Christmas Day. I never met Derek, and the only gig of his I ever saw was a huge disappointment, but we have lots of friends in common, and his influence on the free improv world is hard to put into words. A phenomenal free thinking musician, who went from dance band side man to possibly the most abrasive sounding guitarist the world has ever seen. Uncompromising and hugely skilled, but willing to apply his notion of ‘ad-hoc musical experiences’ to his playing life even when he reached the point where his fame was so great that he recorded a record with Pat Metheny.

His book on Improvisation is a great read too – I learned a heck of a lot from that.

Rest in peace, Derek, you’ll be sorely missed.