Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Album Review

Cecil Taylor: Mixed to Unit Structures Revisited

Read "Mixed to Unit Structures Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


This story has been revisited before, in the context of an Albert Ayler review, but good stories bear repeating, particularly when they are instructive ones. So here it is again... During a May 2021 interview with All About Jazz, the reed player Shabaka Hutchings was asked to name six albums which had made a more than usually deep impression on him. One of those Hutchings chose was Cecil Taylor's Silent Tongues: Live At Montreux '74 (Freedom, 1975). “This ...

7

Album Review

Cecil Taylor Quintet: Lifting The Bandstand

Read "Lifting The Bandstand" reviewed by Mark Corroto


No other artist, except maybe Miles Davis, created the sort of event/happening that surrounded a Cecil Taylor performance. As Taylor's career advanced from the 1960s on, his presentation became an almost pure expression, one not limited by the terms 'jazz,' 'poetry,' and 'dance.' Of the many chapters his art held, for many fans it is Taylor's travels to Europe that define his career. Much of it is documented in the coveted In Berlin '88 (FMP, 1989) eleven ...

2

Album Review

Cecil Taylor: Mixed To Unit Structures Revisited

Read "Mixed To Unit Structures Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto


A listener could make it their life's work to absorb and appreciate the music the music of Cecil Taylor. One could possibly approach it as a scholar and musician through notation and transcription—not the recommended approach. Such a task would be similar to the process of systematizing a DNA sequence. Taylor's music, and pardon this analogy, might be best grasped as one might attend to the oxymoronic genre noise music. If you are still reading, allow an explanation. ...

4

Radio & Podcasts

The Experimentalists: George Russell, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy (1956-1960)

Read "The Experimentalists: George Russell, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy (1956-1960)" reviewed by Russell Perry


In the wake of Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins came a wave of players eager to experiment further within the broadening definition of jazz. Among the most durable of this next generation are composer George Russell, pianist Cecil Taylor, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman and multi-reed player Eric Dolphy. The late 1950s recordings of Russell, Taylor, Coleman and Dolphy in this hour of Jazz at 100. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 George Russell Sextet “Concerto for Billy the ...

7

Building a Jazz Library

Cecil Taylor

Read "Cecil Taylor" reviewed by John Eyles


On April 5th 2018, the world lost pianist, composer, poet and iconoclast Cecil Taylor, at age 89. Taylor was the last surviving member of a generation of players who gave birth to the music variously labelled as avant-garde, fire music or free jazz, although some sources jointly credit Taylor and Ornette Coleman as its originators. A native New Yorker, Taylor received piano lessons by the age of five, taught by his mother. A childhood classical-piano prodigy, he studied ...

5

New York Beat

Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation

Read "Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation" reviewed by Nick Catalano


Ever since innovative artists were faced with reflecting and reacting in their art to seismic events (WWI) revolutionary science (Einsteinian relativity, Darwinian evolution, and political convolution (fascism, bolshevism) over a century ago, many faced years of scorn and condemnation. When they chose abstraction in art (Mondrian, Kandinsky) dissonance in music (Schoenberg, Bartok) or stream of consciousness in writing (Eliot, Joyce) to describe a disjunctive new world they were destined to lose the masses and rely on clairvoyant critics for small ...

2

Radio & Podcasts

Cecil Taylor Live in Padua, 1975

Read "Cecil Taylor Live in Padua, 1975" reviewed by Centro d'Arte Padova


For our first contribution to All About Jazz's Mixcloud column, we celebrate the musical genius, free spirit and unbounded creativity of Cecil Taylor. We decided to start with one of the gems from our vaults: a historic recording of his first (and only) concert in Padua, Italy, in 1975. Listen to twenty five minutes of breathtaking musical inventions! This installment is part of “From the Archive," a series curated by Centro d'Arte Padova that will present unreleased excerpts ...


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