Tapes were rolling when English avant garde guitarist Derek Bailey played at Woodland Pattern in Riverwest on March 31, 1983 and Bailey, a free improvisation troubadour used to sell tapes of the performance at gigs.
Now, the live recording has gotten an "official" CD release by Incus Records, which has also fittingly issued the music on cassette.
According to the label's website, "'Concert in Milwaukee' was a cassette ... sold by Derek Bailey at concerts. For a short period in 2010 original copies were sold via the Incus website. Now released on CD & Cassette, restored and transferred from the original cassette. The back story: In 1983 Derek Bailey was due to visit Japan for a concert tour and decided to take with him, for sale at the concerts, a cassette recorded live in Milwaukee. Approximately 500 cassettes were prepared and dispatched to the promoter in Japan but, in the event, the tour fell through and the cassettes were returned to England. On arriving to collect the two boxes containing the cassettes from the Post Office Derek found that they were badly damaged and, having to pay to re-gain them, decided to collect only one of the parcels. The salvageable cassettes - number not known, but probably around 150 - were subsequently sold at other live dates."
If you're interested in other jazz at the edges recorded in Milwaukee, check out Fred Anderson's "The Milwaukee Tapes Vol. 1," recorded in Brew City in 1980. No one seems to remember where the music was recorded beyond "a forgotten Milwaukee jazz club."
I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be The Jazz Gallery in Riverwest, which, incidentally, has returned!
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.