Company (free improvisation group)

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Genres Free improvisation
Occupation(s) Musical collective
Years active 1968–present
Labels Incus Records

Company was an ever changing collection of free improvising musicians. The concept was devised by guitarist Derek Bailey in order to create challenging and artistically stimulating combinations of players who might not otherwise have had an opportunity to work together.

At various times Company has included Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Tristan Honsinger, Misha Mengelberg, Lol Coxhill, Fred Frith, Steve Beresford, Steve Lacy, Jamie Muir, Johnny Dyani, Leo Smith, Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Kaiser, John Zorn, Buckethead, Georgie Born and many others. Company Weeks, annual week long free improvisational festivals organised by Bailey, ran from 1977 until 1994.

Discography (partial)[edit]

  • 1971: The Music Improvisation Company 1968-1971
  • 1976: Company 2
  • 1976: Company 3
  • 1977: Company 5
  • 1977: Fictions
  • 1978: Company 6 & 7
  • 1980: Fables
  • 1982: Epiphany / Epiphanis
  • 1983: Trios
  • 1987: Once
  • 1992: Company 91 (three volumes)
  • 2001: Company in Marseille (recorded 1999)



  • Derek Bailey: Improvisation - Its Nature and Practice in Music - Da Capo Press 1992
  • Ben Watson: Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation - Verso 2004

External links[edit]