An exhilarating ensemble of Cecil Taylor jazz arrives, 49 years later

Davis noted that Taylor’s technique of composing note fragments in “cells” which he “expanded, expanded and reversed” sometimes appealed ...


Davis noted that Taylor’s technique of composing note fragments in “cells” which he “expanded, expanded and reversed” sometimes appealed more to classical musicians than to jazz musicians, although today his influence is widely heard among improvising pianists. (She cited a long list, including Marilyn Crispell, Jason Moran, Craig Taborn, Myra Melford, Alexander Hawkins, Angelica Sanchez and Vijay Iyer.)

But in the nightclub scene of the 60s and 70s, genius didn’t always mean selling drinks, and being at the forefront of a new approach meant it could be difficult to find suitable collaborators. . Oblivion, the label that released this album, called it “The Return Concert” because by 1973 Taylor, then 44, had been mostly absent from recording and the New York scene. for five years as he pioneered another aspect of the avant-garde. – guard of jazz life: turn to academia. (He taught at Antioch College and the University of Wisconsin, not without controversy.)

The recording of the Town Hall concert was another feat of improvisation. Taylor had recorded major LPs (“Conquistador!”, “Unit Structures”) for Blue Note in the late 1960s, but by this stage he was independent. Planning a release for Taylor’s fledgling label Unit Core, his manager of sorts, David Laura, turned to an unlikely source: Columbia student Fred Seibert, who had recorded gigs for the college radio station and released several blues albums on the independent label Oblivion. label with cohorts from a Long Island record store.

With borrowed gear and youthful confidence, Seibert accepted the gig — and faced a torrent of music. “I felt like I was under Niagara Falls with all the sounds coming at me 360 ​​degrees and fighting for space in my head,” said Seibert, who would later go on to engineer and produce. records for Muse Records before leaving the music industry at dawn. 1980s for Hollywood, where he became a famous producer of animated television. (Series launched under his aegis include “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Powerpuff Girls” and “Adventure Time.”)

For Taylor, “free” also meant freedom from the constraints of the commercial music industry. Releasing the first set would have required making a double LP and toning down the music at the end of each side, which Seibert considered contrary to his spirit. A shorter second set proved a better fit: Split between a 16-minute Taylor solo piece and a side-length band workout, the encore performance had a limited release in 1974 as “The Spring of the Two Blue J’s.” One of 2,000 copies came to critic Gary Giddins of The Village Voice; he called it “probably my favorite album made in the last year”.

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Newsrust - US Top News: An exhilarating ensemble of Cecil Taylor jazz arrives, 49 years later
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