American Fingerstyle Guitarist

The Ducks Palace

The Ducks PalaceThe Ducks Palace


Record Label: Incus (CD59)

Available from: CD baby

Duck Baker meets some of the greats of free jazz and free improvised music in a series of live and impromptu duos and trios, featuring Derek Bailey, John Zorn, and Roswell Rudd.

Improv 1. with John Zorn & Cyro Baptista 10:26
Improv 2. with Derek Bailey 7:30
“The Blues” 3. with Roswell Rudd 12:50
Improv 4. with Derek Bailey 5:03
Improv 5. with John Zorn & Cyro Baptista 12:08
Improv 6. with Derek Bailey 5:42
Pavement Blues 7. with Roswell Rudd 3:31
Total Time 57:11

Available to Order

Tracks Improv 1. & 5. recorded at The Knitting Factory New York March 16th 1998
Mastered by Martin Davidson

Tracks Improv 2. 4. & 6. recorded London July 4th 2002

Track “The Blues” 3. recorded at The Outpost Albuquerque March 25th 2004

Track Pavement Blues 7. recorded at Tonic New York by Ben Young January 5th 2002

Post Production: Alex Ward

Design & Layout: Karen Brookman

Liner notes by Duck Baker

I met John Zorn through Eugene Chadbourne in about 1978. I was living in Philadelphia at the time, so it was easy enough to drive up to New York, find a couch to sleep on, wrestle with John’s charts, check out whoever was playing in town, and rap about Herbie Nichols, Hasaan, Sonny Clark, Hal McCusick, etc. etc. I moved to England the following year but we were all still doing occasional things together for a couple of years after that. It became much more sporadic after I relocated again in ’81, but John remains one of my favorite people to play music with, whenever I get the chance. He’s also a favorite producer; my record of Herbie Nichols tunes, (Avant records), was his idea and as I write this we have another project in the works.

The only recording of Zorn & I playing together dates from a 1991 visit to New York, when he organized a gig for me and put himself on the bill to help the draw. I remember that John took Cyro Baptista and I to eat geflitefish in the lower east side and then we spent a couple of hours jamming at Cyro’s rehearsal space before the hit, going over bop tunes we knew we wouldn’t play, rather than rehearse free improvising.

While preparing for the Herbie Nichols record I got to know Roswell Rudd, who has of course been Herbie’s greatest champion over the years. Roswell is like a musical anchor for me in many ways. Naturally I was a huge fan of his back in the 60’s. I loved the way he played with Archie Shepp and with the New York Art Quartet, but also the fact that he was into earlier jazz styles, and even wrote an article for Downbeat about different international musical traditions. It’s great to play with someone who shared the bandstand with Pee Wee Russell and Red Allen, hung with Ben Webster, and worked for folklorist Alan Lomax. Our very occasional duo has tackled a wide range of musical subjects, some of which are hinted at here.

As for Derek Bailey, I met him in 1977 or ’78 and was an occasional visitor to his place in Hackney from then on. He always wanted to play a bit, which was always a pleasure, of course, but there was only one time when he decided to set up a couple of microphones and record the proceedings. The balance isn’t perfect, but since this record is among the first to appear on Incus since Derek left the stage it seemed only appropriate for him to make an appearance.

I would like to thank everyone involved for helping with this record, the musicians, the people who recorded the sounds and those who helped with mastering, and most of all Karen, for getting behind the project with so much enthusiasm.

Duck Baker, Reading, Berkshire, December 2008