Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

RADIO

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

RADIO

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 ...

PROFILE

Cecil Taylor: 1929-2018

Read "Cecil Taylor: 1929-2018" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

As he approached the age of ninety, Cecil Taylor could be excused for some of his indulgences. Still highly opinionated on a range of subjects; still chain smoking, still harboring old resentments, and so on. For a man from whom new ideas sprang constantly and effortlessly, Taylor could get stuck in real-world dramas. He had a patriarchal legacy that held him above the everyday judgments of other mortals; he was a founding father of free jazz, a co-founder of the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cecil Taylor: Live In The Black Forest

Read "Live In The Black Forest" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

A retrospective look at the sixty-year career of Cecil Taylor, in progress at the Whitney Museum of American Art, incorporates the museum's unobstructed spaces and impressive views of New York City with multimedia documentation of the great composer/pianist's sixty years of creative invention. That openness is emblematic of Taylor's own absence of artistic boundaries. He has worked with dancers, poets, filmmakers and playwrights all while creating the most innovative avant-garde music that modern jazz has to offer. Throughout his career ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cecil Taylor: Garden 2nd Set

Read "Garden 2nd Set" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Years after this 1981 performance at a Swiss venue, pianist Cecil Taylor advised producer Werner X Uehlinger that this was his best solo concert, as the 2nd Set chronicles the order of performance and follows up the 2015 reissue of Garden 1st Set (hatOLOGY, 2015). And to cite the often-used movie critic adjective, this concert was truly riveting. Taylor performs on a 92-key Bosendorfer piano, providing extra bass keys to bottom F. Taylor proffers a detailed soundstage amid ...


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