Plays The Music Of Derek Bailey & Thelonious Monk //

Album label: 
Release date: 
Recording location: 
Holywell Music Room, Oxford (Bailey) Jacquiline Du Pre Music Room, Oxford (Monk)
Recording date: 
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Recording engineer: 
Tim Fletcher (Bailey)
Recording engineer: 
Chris Trent (Monk)
  • 1. Extract 1 (03:44)
  • 2. Extract 2 (06:02)
  • 3. Lets Call This (05:30)
  • 4. Extract 3 (06:07)
  • 5. Pannonica (05:19)
  • 6. Extract 4 (04:10)
  • 7. My Foolish Heart (06:57)
  • 8. Extract 5 (03:17)
  • 9. In Walked Bud (06:18)
  • 10. Along Came Betty (06:19)
  • 11. Lets Cool One (04:38)

Pat Thomas - piano

THE DEREK BAILEY TRANSCIPTIONS were performed at the Holywell music room in October 2005 as part of a concert organised by Fran Ryan, who wanted to hear me play piano in a more composed setting. I agreed to play music based on Derek Bailey’s early recordings and brilliantly transcribed by Chris Burn, which he had sent me, I was interested in the challenge and the obvious contradiction of performing free improvisations as compostions, especially Derek’s, knowing his view on the use of transcriptions I decided just playing them as pieces would be pointless. But using extracts from the material, could be a great starting point for further development as improvising material. What I wanted to express was the great clarity in Derek Baileys improvisations, and his great knowledge of the Webern system of using tone rows, also his great melodic sense, in fact some of the most tuneful sections are actually taken from the transcriptions, I felt that ironically the piano could highlight this aspect of his playing more effectively, and I made a decision not to emulate any of the harmonics Derek would use to disguise a note on the guitar. I also decided to play the Standard ‘My Foolish Heart’, applying the concepts used in his transcriptions, and closer to the Guitar style of Derek, and is my tribute to him. The addition of the composition ‘Along Came Betty’ written by Benny Golson was an encore piece.
THE MONK PIECES were recorded in October 2007 as part of the Cohesion festival put on by the Oxford Improvisers, supported by The Asian Cultural Centre,and New Dawn Enterprises and were played in the afternoon. The reason for using Monks music, was first, I love it, second, I would be performing his music in a music theatre show at Riverside Theatre in November called ‘Misterioso’ (directed by Filomena Campus) and would be a good chance to try out some ideas. I decided to play pieces not played solo like ‘Lets Call This’, and ‘Lets Cool One’, and better known pieces like ‘In Walked Bud’. The challenge with Monks music is how to find your own voice without losing the distinctive shape of a Monk composition. The pieces were recorded by Chris Trent, and played on a new Steinway they had just bought at the Jacqueline du Pre Room. My thanks to him, and also to Tim Fletcher who recorded the Bailey set.
Pat Thomas