Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cecil Taylor...redux...



Cecil Taylor... redux...

Fiery swinging stuff... Cecil Taylor's early work repays attention. The rhythm section is bebop orthodox almost – but listen to his piano tearing chromatic chunks out of the tracks here. The first, 'EB', a trio with Dennis Charles and Buell Neidlinger. The second: 'Excursion on a wobbly rail' (with strong Ellington overtones), add Earl Griffiths on vibes, whose cool, spinning lines counterpoise perfectly with Taylor's piano. As he advances into his solo, Cecil plays figures behind him that have a flavour of Monk behind Milt Jackson on the seminal Blue Note recordings of the late forties. Whatever happened to Griffiths? A question asked many times down the years. There is a tension admittedly, between the other musicians and Taylor's more advanced conception but I find it fascinating - hearing him playing off the almost conventional rhythms, it's as if they slow him down enough so that you can hear the bare bones of the later style. Having said that - he rocks out on 'EB' - smashing left hand chords and a right hand like a storm wind. These tracks throw much light on the denser and rhythmically freer works to come. Although they are pretty torrid performances by any standards. This is music of its time, probing and pointing beyond its time and... ahead of its time. A definition of classic, maybe...


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EB

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Excursion on a wobbly rail


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1 comment:

ned said...

Nice blog. Really enjoying these tracks. Do you ever look at ILM? One recent thread was full of interesting jazz.