Sessionography of Derek Bailey: Introduction

This document is a sessionography of the recordings of Derek Bailey, which is to say, a listing organized around recording sessions and performances (and not around, say, record releases), but is restricted to sessions that have been publicly released on recordings. In that sense, it's also a discography. Each entry corresponds to a single session or performance, including as much information as I could gather about issues of the material in question. The order of the entries is as close to chronological as I could get it. In general, I've only listed performances in which Bailey was involved; in some cases, the record releases include other peformances as well, not involving Bailey.

Note that I have ignored private tapes and stuck with material that was at some point publicly released on lp, cd, video or cassette. I've also not attempted to include any of Bailey's appearances as a session player before 1967. One potentially interesting unreleased item is a tape of a 1966 club date in which Bailey, Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars accompanied Lee Konitz. Given the early recording date, and the fact that these same three musicians were performing together at the time as Joseph Holbrooke, a crucial ensemble in the history of free improvisation, that tape was included in this sessionography at one point. But on further reflection, it now seems inappropriate. By all accounts, this was not in any way a Joseph Holbrooke date, it was simply three musicians accompanying Konitz. Given that this tape is unlikely ever to be released, that Bailey's role here is one of accompaniment, and that in general I'm excluding both categories of recordings, I no longer see any reason to include it.

Unless otherwise noted in the composer credits, these pieces are collective improvisations, "composed" (so to speak) by the performers. Similarly, unless otherwise noted in the artist credit, the records are credited to Derek Bailey.

A word about timings. There are often slight disagreements between listed timings on alternate issues of the same release. I've generally chosen the one on the record I own, on the assumption that any difference less than a minute is a difference in reporting rather than a difference in actual musical content. More substantial differences, typically between lp and cd issues, are noted.

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The format of the entries is as follows:

Date and place of recording

  1. Track 1 (composer credit) duration
  2. Track 2 (composer credit) duration
  3. .
  4. .
  5. Track n (composer credit) duration

Performer credits

Release name [artist credit] label (country) cat# (format) date [tracks]
Release name [artist credit] label (country) cat# (format) date [tracks]


Release name [artist credit]


Special thanks to Patrice Roussel for his Evan Parker discography, which acted as a catalyst as well as a starting point for this one; and to Peter Stubley for hosting this document as part of his thoroughly excellent Euro Improv site . Thanks also to:

for providing additions and corrections.
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