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Artist Profiles

Cecil Taylor: Mr. Taylor's Filibuster

By Published: March 11, 2004
“The American Indians here stomp,” he said, pounding his foot to the floor. “It is rhythm. It is acknowledging the food and the Earth.” He drew a quick line between aboriginal music and Louis Armstrong. “That’s why that four-letter word beginning with ‘J’ and ending with ‘Z’ is so inadequate. It does not encapsulate what was brought here and developed. If Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone [he laughs], it was nothing compared to the way it was played by Ben Webster and Charlie Parker and John Coltrane and Albert Ayler.”

“I’ve learned as much from Marvin Gaye as I have from Thelonious Monk,” he said. “James Brown is really a genius. The most important thing about music is the rotation of the earth as it moves through the rays of the sun. The seasons happen in a cyclical manner. It is how we come into being. Fucking is just rhythmical, you know.”

Recommended Listening
Jazz Advance (Transition-Blue Note, 1955)
Looking Ahead (Contemporary-OJC, 1958)
Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come [live] (Revenant, 1962)
Unit Structures (Blue Note, 1966)
The Great Concert (Shandar-Prestige, 1969)
The Willisau Concert (Intakt, 2002)

Photo Credit
Photo: Francesca Pfeffer

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