Sunday, August 24, 2014


Label: Incus Records – 17
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album - Country: UK / Released: 1976
Style: Free Improvisation
Side A recorded in mono in London on 4 July 1969.
Side B recorded in stereo in London on 18 June 1970.
Painting – Jamie Muir
Producer [Post Production] – John Hadden
Recorded By – Bob Woolford (tracks: 5, 6)

The back cover features a quote from 'The Wellsprings of Music' by Curt Sachs.

A1 - Pointing . . . 7:10
A2 - Untitled 3 . . . 6:32
A3 - Untitled 4 . . . 4:10
A4 - Bedrest . . . 7:38
B1 - Its Tongue Trapped To The Rock By A Limpet, The Water Rat Succumbed To The Incoming Tide . . . 8:55
B2 - In The Victim's Absence . . . 10:35

Derek Bailey – guitar
Evan Parker – soprano saxophone, autoharp [amplified]
Hugh Davies – electronics [live], organ
Jamie Muir – percussion, painting

This LP covers the historic beginnings of the British free music scene and its founding fathers: Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Hugh Davies, and future King Crimson drummer Jamie Muir. These recordings come off amazingly well, considering the first four were recorded in mono. And while there are six pieces here, it's almost impossible to talk about them as separate entities, since what was at work in the group consciousness was to create a free jazz music in the U.K. that was distinct from what was happening in America and elsewhere in Europe at the time. Therefore in the brave spirit of rabid experimentation and oh so serious creative spirit, we have an amalgam of recordings that suggest the future of a free music that turned out very differently than its origins suggest. This collective is exactly that; none of these players -- especially not Parker or Bailey -- had developed into the kinds of soloists that they are today, not only in terms of technical expertise, but in terms of vision. What one can hear in the bravado here is indecision, misdirection, and wrongheaded musical obfuscation that proved to be liberating obstacles in the long run. The one constant here, the thread, if you will, is the sense of dynamics that became the trademark of the new music and has remained ever since. This is a document that does sound dated, but only in a way that tells a story. It's is a necessary addition to anyone's library who is interested in improvised music.


If you find it, buy this album!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. THE MUSIC IMPROVISATION COMPANY - 1968-1971 (LP-1976)
      Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork


  2. I think Thom Jurek's review is quite wrong - to say it politely.
    "What one can hear in the bravado here is indecision, misdirection, and wrongheaded musical obfuscation that proved to be liberating obstacles in the long run..." - I would say that they make concise decisions which turn out quite intriguing. Of course the rules in this music are quite different than for recordings as f.e. "Challenge", "Withdrawal", "Springboard" or even "Karyobin".
    Maybe it wasn't as refined as their collaborative or individual contributions for their chosen field of music. But to say that the music is a "wrongheaded musical obfuscation" is rather misleading. IMHO

    Should this music appeal to you - I've posted the second release over at Inconstant Sol >

    1. In any case, well you noticed onx. I also agree with you, maybe it comes a bit clumsy terms by T. J., but you will agree, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Anyway, today's very difficult to find any decent criticism when it comes to certain sensitive topics. Can you just imagine how this sounded in some distant year 1968?!

    2. I would imagine that the music of MIC was really adventerous for most ears in 1968. But this seems to be still the case in 2014.
      And of course is everyone free to has his own - and different - opinion than mine. I had the feeling that Mr. Jurek presents "his opinion as the only truth" as -Otto- has written below.
      I prefer criticism which has a more positive attutude towards its subject. I don't mean to suggest 'throwing sugar' - but why eaxmine f.e. some music one dislikes - maybe it is more rewarding to support - with proper criticism - sounds which are in general sympathetic to ones ear.

  3. Thanks for the FLAC, Vitko, and thanks to onxidlib for the matching post on ics. I also agree that Mr. TJ often comes across as someone who likes to present his opinion as the only truth. We need not agree, though.

  4. THANK-YOU so much for all your posts

  5. a marvelous recording...thank you...

  6. Hi Vitko, please could you repost this, i missed this because firedrive never worked for me, thanks

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you very much Vitko, very much appreciated

  8. Thank you, -Otto-.
    How did you know?

    1. The generic and completely unspecific "praise" (nothing specific about the blog post nor your blog in general) plus the scam-link that followed.

    2. I didn't even pay attention, thanks again.