Derek Bailey, Mick Beck and Paul Hession - Meanwhile, Back in Sheffield (CD Discus)

A home-coming of sorts for Derek Bailey. Back in his home town to escape the summer heat of his home in Barcelona, Bailey took on Sheffield's cold rain and performed at the Royal Society of the Blind Hall in August 2004.

Beck's tight-lipped whistles open squawk sax and bassoon delivery playfully weave through, and interrupt, Bailey and Hession's stumbling progress and regress of the half hour 'After the Red Deer' (named after the nearby pub.) The dynamics of the trio shifts precisely, at once sharp and percussive, and then a flow and back again.

Bailey's familiar harmonics, stubbed notes and swipes has the strange ability to simultaneously mirror, interact and push against the percussion and the sax. There's a terrific bit near the end of the track where they fall into low quiet sounds. Squeaks and harmonics.

The other two shorter tracks 'Raining' and 'Buckets' are more playful in that they work with the sounds of the rain coming through the roof. Hession's fine tinkles and taps are quite marvellous. I'd liked to have heard just him working with the sounds of the rain.

It's a tight and an invigoratingly audacious performance.  A 52 minute adventure into the other. HM

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