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Kaoru Abe, Motoharu Yoshizawa, Toshinori Kondo & Derek Bailey: Aida's Call

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Album: Aida's Call
Label: Starlight Furniture Company

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Derek Bailey is one of the most respected free-jazz guitarists around, having spent the past three-plus decades collaborating with the likes of John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, The Ruins, and many more. Forget notes or chords: Bailey's guitar speaks in alien tongues. The notion of talking guitars, free jazz and Japanese noise may be daunting, but Aida's Call is flat-out brilliant. Recorded live in 1978, the album groups Bailey, saxaphonist Kaoru Abe, bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa, and trumpeter Toshinori Kondo; together, they toured Japan under the name Evolution Ensemble Unity, creating an evocative, atmospheric work. Brooding, dark, and sparse, Aida's Call brings to mind the work of early Residents or some of Dog Faced Hermans' less beat-driven material. At times, the album sounds like a band warming up, but for those who prefer the spontaneous naked sound of the warm-up to the comparatively sterile, boring sound of the rehearsed piece, it's essential.