Pianist Judy Bailey was active on the Sydney studio scene in the early '60s, apparently establishing her quite quickly in this competitive world after moving there from kiwi country. Bailey assumed the leadership of several different ensembles and was the choice rhythm section of Australian bandleaders, excavating new musical terrain with Don Burrows or setting the mood for a balladic cuddle with Errol Buddle or his second fiddle, Kerrie Biddle.
It was as a composer that her reputation began to grow in the following decade, however. Bailey's music was used in film scores, children's music, and as an influential element in the educational hemisphere. Meanwhile, she certainly wasn't letting her playing skills atrophy. She was chosen as part of the cutting-edge ensemble involved in the first performances of "Nexus," a great moment in Third Stream mayhem provided by composer Don Banks, whose last name might have come in handy could it have provided the proper funding for the symphony orchestra and extra sidemen involved.
There are excellent recordings by Bailey as a leader from this era, such as the 1976 Colours or the 1977 Judy Bailey: Solo album, all waiting to be discovered on the Australian Eureka label, the word "discover" utilized as a reaction to record collectors whose efforts to locate this material resemble the oft-thwarted attempt to unearth the lost Assyrian goblets. The pianist was heard by large Asian concert audiences in the '80s during several extensive tours. In 2002, she released a solo piano collection entitled The Spritely Ones. ~ Eugene Chadbourne