If the title alone The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert doesn't blow out those flu-like post-holiday cobwebs in a big hurry, the full, near ninety minute assault on all that was and is holy damn well will. Couple the jittery anticipation of NYC's Town Hall audience pushing up against the cool onstage élan of alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, percussionist Andrew Cyrille and bassist Sirone aka Norris Jones and the air in the hall is highly, nervously charged, all of them waiting for the exile to end. After five years, Cecil Taylor took to his piano. . .and all hell broke loose! It was a moment in the lives of all those participating that they could instantly equate with, say, where they were when Kennedy was shot. Or Martin. Or Lennon. Or when men thought bigger than assassination and strode the moon. Created vaccines. Conquered fascist powers.
With five years of academia behind him (he was a visiting professor at Antioch College and University of Wisconsin-Madison) and only one missive, the solo challenge Indent (Unit Core, 1973) Taylor had to be, as the kids say nowadays, freakin' jacked! Jacked to the max he was.
"Autumn/Parade" is impenetrable, hypnotic, impossible to hold, but never look away. Never turn a blind ear to its chaotic perplexities or pass lurid judgement on its more accessible moments. Taylor is unhinged and that can only mean the world will be a much different place when he is done. Be that change for the better or worse was up to the listeners in '73 and is up to listeners in '22.
Long before this gig, Taylor had proved himself his own one man army. Adding Lyons, Cyrille, and Sirone makes "Autumn/Parade" unstoppable, a frenetic, riotous, visionary invention gratefully, gleefully heard here completely for the first time. And it sounds awesome too. Included is the often romantic, often tumultuous second set "Spring of Two Blue-J's" which was previously released on Spring of Two Blue-J's (Unit Core, 1974). Digital release only.