Victor Bailey: Musician
Heavy Weather | Romantic Warrior.
William Ellis’s work with us is based on the acclaimed ongoing ‘One LP Project’ which encompasses all genres of music – Defined as – ‘A portrait of an artist with an album of great personal significance. Each portrait is accompanied by an interview which explores the meaning and value for the subject.’
The project’s world premiere exhibition was held in New York at the ARChive of Contemporary Music.
Mr Bailey had to chose two – what can I say? I love these too!
Return to Forever – Romantic Warrior
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
“The two favourite records I have are Heavy Weather by Weather Report and Romantic Warrior by Return to Forever, and I can’t pick one over the other.
It’s not anything that complicated, those records spoke to who I really I am which is sort in between being a jazz guy and a funk guy.
I love jazz but I love the groove too both those records have incredibly high level of musicianship but always nice feeling.
The music after a while got real technical and a lot of guys who had a lot of technique but not the soul, the feeling and the groove.
And those two bands had feeling and groove and soul.
The compositions were good music – the difference between being heavy and (just) trying to be heavy.
Those guys were heavy weight musicians if you look at a record like Heavy Weather none of those songs are complicated and none of them are technical – it’s just really great music.
A lot of the Return to Forever music on Romantic Warrior was technically complicated but still good melodies, good music.
And of course Stanley Clarke and Jaco were just phew – way beyond.
I was already playing like that – playing melodically, playing solos – exploring possibilities on the instrument and Stanley and Jaco and Alphonso Johnson – who was my other favourite were doing exactly the same thing I was doing – but a thousand times better.
So the combination of those guys playing bass and the great music and of course everybody else’s performances – Chick, Lenny White and Al Di Meola on the Return to Forever and then with Weather Report – Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Manolo, Alex Acuña on the drums – just great great music.
I like the exploration that goes on in jazz – but still with the groove and with some feeling and some soul and those two records for me do it more than anything else – so that’s it!”
Victor Bailey: Band on the Wall, Manchester, 4th November 2011
Weather Report: Heavy Weather released 1977
Return to Forever: Romantic Warrior released 1976