Forgotten series: Derek Bailey – Mirakle (2000)

Share this:

Imagine walking into a big music store. Two guys are playing: a solid funk bass propelled by a wiggly, syncopated drummer.

Then, on the other side of the room, some kid on an elementary school field trip picks up an electric guitar that somebody left plugged in. The kid doesn’t know how to play, not even a little bit. So he grabs a string and gives it a yank. Sproinggg!! … then another, maybe a little louder this time. He moves his left hand, makes a sorta-chord and rakes his right across the strings. Klangg!

The thing is, you haven’t seen the kid. So you’re trying to figure out if this plonky guitar actually goes with the rhythm section. It just might.

Or not.

Welcome to the strange and beautiful world of Derek Bailey, the late king of freely-improvised guitar.

Bailey made a lot of recordings in various contexts: solo, duos, small ensembles and large groups. All are worth checking out. On 2000’s Mirakle he teamed up with Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass and Calvin Weston on drums. Definitely a formidable pair. Mirakle was a good introduction to this style of play as the funk rhythm section give the uninitiated listener something familiar to hold onto while the more “alien” guitar does its thing.

Now, I’d be the first person to admit that this recording is not for everyone. Derek Bailey’s guitar style, even years after his death, still requires some time to “get.” In fact, you may never “get” it. If you do though, a whole new musical landscape will open up for further exploration.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00004NRTB” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00006BXG1″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005CWJ76O” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000063BUW” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00000JJJE” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
Share this:
Close