Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

285

Cecil Taylor: Almeda

Russ Musto By

Sign in to view read count
In the nearly forty years since the recording of Unit Structures, Cecil Taylor has steadfastly developed his orchestral music as arguably the most unique musical expression of one of the (jazz) world's most intelligent and idiosyncratic minds. Recorded during the Total Music Meeting in Berlin on November 2, 1996, Almeda is an honest documentation of a single Taylor "composition for large ensemble.

It begins, as has generally been the case in recent years, with the leader vocalizing, intoning words and sounds, eerie and earthy, that set the stage for the piece's evolution. Taylor leaves plenty of space for the individual instrumentalists to express themselves before joining the group on piano. Two longtime associates, bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jackson Krall, provide a tonal and rhythmic underpinning which coheres the probing, conversational horn interaction among trumpeter Chris Matthay; trombonist Jeff Hoyer; saxophonists Elliott Levin, Chris Jonas, and Harri Sjöström; and the distinctive cellist Tristan Honsinger.

There is genuine drama in the music, which is in many ways narrative, yet indescribable. There's a sense of humanity and natural order to it that leads one to believe that although it sounds like no other music, it does have its own place in describing something of this universe, or perhaps out of it. It is a soundtrack for the world of Cecil Taylor, which is indeed a very interesting world. There's sensitivity and strength, foreboding and joy, power and delicacy, conflict and conviction. It's all very refreshing and intriguing, unlike anything else in both its mechanics and spirituality.

At the piano, Taylor remains a force of nature, capable of expressing the full range of emotions from the most delicate to the most intense, with a sense of pathos and humor, and inspiring his followers' incredibly creative improvisations. The music is both energizing and cathartic. It draws in the attentive listener and rewards them with an unparalleled experience that awakens the imagination and provides an escape from and insight into this world.

Personnel: Chris Matthay: trumpet; Chris Jonas: soprano & alto saxophones; Harri Sj

Title: Almeda | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: FMP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Higher Album Reviews
Higher
By Tyran Grillo
May 26, 2019
Read The Unlonely Raindancer Album Reviews
The Unlonely Raindancer
By Matt Parker
May 26, 2019
Read Pyramid Scheme Album Reviews
Pyramid Scheme
By Mark Sullivan
May 26, 2019
Read Mosaismic Album Reviews
Mosaismic
By Mike Jurkovic
May 26, 2019
Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019