On the Edge: Improvisation in Music

Do yourself a favor and watch this stunning documentary!

On the Edge: Improvisation in Music is a 1992 4-part series produced and narrated by British guitarist Derek Bailey. The film features performances and interviews from master musicians all over the globe. You can stream the entire documentary below.

"Buddy Guy Liri Blues 1989" by Sardognunu
“Buddy Guy Liri Blues 1989” by Sardognunu, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons


Some highlights:

Robert Levin improvises cadenzas for one of Mozart’s piano concertos on a period fortepiano (Part 1)

John Zorn directs his experimental game piece Cobra (Part 1)

Naji Hakim plays absolutely insane liturgical organ improvisations in Paris (Part 1)

Congregation of Scottish Gaelic psalm singers (Part 1)

Virtuosic Indian classical singing by Pundit Hanuman Misra and his sons (Part 1)

Community of Sufi musicians in New Delhi (Part 2)

Jazz drummer Max Roach leads an interactive workshop for grade school children (Part 3)

Avant garde pioneer Butch Morris leads conducted improvisations (Part 3)

Max Eastley’s Kinetic Sound sculptures that interact with nature and live performers (Part 3)

Studio footage with some of Nashville’s greatest session musicians: Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer, and Jerry Douglas (Part 4)

Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead (Part 4)

Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy (Part 4)

George Lewis’s interactive electronic sound and visual systems for live performances (Part 4)

Children in Zimbabwe building and playing mbiras (Part 4)

Derek Bailey: On the Edge (Part 1) from Jimbo on Vimeo.

Derek Bailey: On the Edge (Part 2) from Jimbo on Vimeo.

Derek Bailey: On the Edge (Part 3) from Jimbo on Vimeo.

Derek Bailey: On the Edge (Part 4) from Jimbo on Vimeo.

– ST

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