Derek Bailey & Carlos Bechegas

Right Off

Numerica, no. 1100

Derek Bailey, electric guitar; Carlos Bechegas, flutes & electronics.

In this new, real-time performance, two masters of 21st century improvised music suspend most conventions associated with their instruments and the Jazz genre. Definable chords, standard song forms, and limited harmonic palettes are successfully flouted in seven spontaneous performances, which are not in the least bit compromised in terms of their formal structure.

Too often, so-called "new music" practitioners resort to gimmicks in order to call attention to themselves; witness the ongoing "found object" and laptop computer performances in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is quite possibly the epicenter of musical formalism in the world today.

Fortunately, Messrs. Bailey and Bechegas have not abandoned the notion that form and content are inseparable; in this regard they have more in common with the great early 20th century European classical composers. Here, contrasting, episodic structures and thematic development arise from careful listening and a common rhythmic language. Track five ("R. On") is precisely calculated for maximum emotional effect--a surreal, otherworldly performance.

The new interval combinations heard throughout the session challenge the simplistic notion that there is a "correct" scale for every chord. If anything, these performances prove that for every sound, there are an infinite number of sonic relationships.

This is an excellent recording.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

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