Monday, March 25, 2019

Piano Domini: Cecil Taylor 90

It's time for three milestone birthdays in a row... heck, one of them is even still with us.
The first one sadly departed our plane last year, thus just missing what would have been his 90th today.
I tributed him at his passing with a stellar solo concert of his, and today we'll have one recorded in the same venue six months later, with one of his baddest bands.
There isn't much left to say about Cecil Taylor, other than that he was the sort of once-in-a-lifetime cat who took a stodgy, stereotypically normal instrument and turned it loose like a regal beast in the streets of the world.
If I had to find an analogous player on another instrument, the closest I could come might be the guitar player Sonny Sharrock. People who came along and almost singlehandedly exploded the possibilities all on their own, with no reference point to which you could relate their path.
To honor this iconoclast's iconoclast, we are gonna fire up my personal favorite CT bootleg, from my favorite of his many ensembles and Unit Structures.
As I said, this was taped -- also for German radio -- in June of 1978 and features perhaps Taylor's most sympathetic and multivarious group, with moments of actual lyricism! They even play The Blues at one point.
Cecil Taylor Unit
Großer Sendesaal
Köln, Germany

01 Third Part of One
02 Third World's Making

Total time: 57:28

Cecil Taylor - piano
Jimmy Lyons - alto saxophone
Raphe Malik - trumpet
Ramsey Ameen - violin
Sirone - bass
Ronald Shannon Jackson - drums

could be a master or 1st gen cassette of an original WDR broadcast
I shall return Tuesday and Wednesday -- Friday as well -- with a whole catalog of goodies to end the month.
Today, though, is the day to pay homage to Cecil Taylor, born this day in 1929 and a watershed influence on the music of this planet for Eternity.--J.
3.25.1929 - 4.5.2018