Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

771

Cecil Taylor: Conquistador!

By

Sign in to view read count
More so than with any label, the greatest recordings on Blue Note, those that pull rank on the merely great and that we can most comfortably say will belong to all ages, seem to prove a burden for many listeners to embrace, no matter how enthralled they are by the sounds of Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Blue Train —the label's signature sounds, really. Consider Out To Lunch! and Point of Departure, often dismissed as acquired tastes, or worse, noise, and flouted as inspired nonsense—such chivalrous chicanery!—irrespective of the idea that applying whatever principles—"drawbacks" of shape and form—might lead one to this critique could likewise have at Finnegans Wake. And so too with Cecil Taylor and Conquistador!, another warranted entry in the Rudy Van Gelder series, with a bonus cut of "With (Exit)."

Odd as it may sound, if you are new to Taylor's music, and before proceeding to the Caf' Montmartre sessions, you're perhaps best off starting with this record, an avant-garde jazz walkabout of sorts, or at least a Cecil Taylor walkabout; here we can bear witness to the qualities, in different ideas, forms, themes and styles, that characterize an entire body of work—archetypes of interaction and by-play, suggestion and statement, however indirect, and then subversion of whatever feeling, emotion, idea, had been conjured up in the first place, and thus we continue on with the journey.

For the seasoned listener, the principal value of this release is naturally having it available again, and, more importantly, the alternate take of what was the original album's second and final track—side B for the vinyl lovers. Two minutes shorter, this "new" version of "With (Exit)" is even more disturbing and, frankly, invasive, than the official take, with Taylor creating textures that pulse and recoil, frantically trapped in one dark alley of a nightmare, and turning, alone, down another. Speaking analogously, it is though the happy version of "Dedication"—once titled "Cadaver"—had been chosen to close Point of Departure —instead of the proper requiem—or that we have discovered the lost soundtrack to Dementia, such is the gap between these two takes.

In terms of Conquistador! as a whole, note the by-play of Taylor and altoist Jimmy Lyons, foil and compatriot both, depending upon the composition, or the movements within the composition; and, let it be said, that along with Armstrong and Hines, Dolphy and Little, Coleman and Cherry, theirs is a partnership that seems so inevitably wrought and well-suited, one can scarcely imagine the sound of the one without hearing the sound of the other—that is, until spinning Jazz Advance or Burnt Offering.


Track Listing: 1. Conquistador 2. With (Exit) 3. With (Exit)* (Alternate Take)

Personnel: Cecil Taylor (p), Jimmy Lyons (as), Henry Grimes (b), Alan Silva (b), Andrew Cyrille (d)

Title: Conquistador! | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Gin & Moonlight" CD/LP/Track Review Gin & Moonlight
by James Nadal
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "The Tenth Muse" CD/LP/Track Review The Tenth Muse
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!