Cecil Taylor

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Cecil Taylor

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Nis. 29, 2008 10:58 pm

Background information
Birth name Cecil Percival Taylor
Born March 15, 1929 (1929-03-15) (age 79)
Origin New York City
Genre(s) Avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s) bandleader, composer
Instrument(s) piano
Years active 1956 – present
Label(s) Transition
Blue Note
Freedom
Hat Hut
Enja Records
FMP
Associated acts Cecil Taylor Unit
Former members
Steve Lacy, Jimmy Lyons, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Buell Neidlinger, Alan Silva, William Parker,Sunny Murray, Andrew Cyrille, Tony Oxley
Cecil Percival Taylor (born March 15 or March 25, 1929 in New York City) is an American pianist and poet.

Taylor is generally acknowledged as one of the inventors of free jazz. His music is some of the most challenging in jazz, characterized by an extremely energetic, physical approach, producing exceedingly complex improvised sounds, frequently involving tone clusters and intricate polyrhythms. At first listen, his dense and percussive music can be difficult to absorb. His piano technique has often been likened to drums and percussion rather than to any other pianists and sometimes resembles modern classical music as well as jazz.



Biography
Taylor began playing piano at age six and went on to study at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory. After first steps in R&B and swing-styled small groups in the early 1950s, he formed his own band with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1956.

Taylor's first recording, Jazz Advance, featured Lacy and was released in 1956. It is described by Cook & Morton in the Penguin Guide to Jazz: "While there are still many nods to conventional post-bop form in this set, it already points to the freedoms which the pianist would later immerse himself in."

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Taylor's music grew increasingly complex, and moved away from existing jazz styles. It was often difficult for Taylor to find work, despite landmark recordings such as Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come (1962) Unit Structures (1966), and a pairing with pioneering saxophonist John Coltrane (Coltrane Time/Hard Drivin' Jazz, 1958).

Taylor played and recorded predominantly with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons from 1961 until Lyons's death in 1986, along with drummers Sunny Murray and later Andrew Cyrille. Within that group, known as "The Unit", the musicians developed often volcanic new forms of conversational interplay.

From the early 1970s onwards, Taylor began to perform solo concerts, some of which were released as the Indent and Silent Tongues albums. He began to garner critical, if not popular, acclaim, playing for Jimmy Carter on the White House Lawn, lecturing as an in-residence artist at universities, and eventually being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and then a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991.

Following Lyons's death, Taylor has played in a variety of settings ranging from solo (e.g. For Olim, Garden, Erzulie Maketh Scent, The Tree of Life, and In Willisau), the "Feel Trio" formed in the early 1990s with William Parker (bass) and Tony Oxley (drums) (Celebrated Blazons, Looking (The Feel Trio), and the 10-CD set 2 T's for a Lovely T) as well as larger ensembles and big-band projects. His extended residence in Berlin in 1988 was extensively documented by the German label FMP, resulting in a massive boxed set of performances in duet and trio with a who's who of European free improvisors, including Oxley, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Tristan Honsinger, Louis Moholo, Paul Lovens, and others. Most of his recordings for the past several decades have been put out on European labels, with the exception of the unexpected release of Momentum Space (a meeting with Dewey Redman and Elvin Jones) on Verve/Gitanes. The classical label Bridge recently released his 1998 Library of Congress performance Algonquin, a duet with violinist Mat Maneri. Few recordings from 2000 have yet been published, though Taylor, now in his seventies, continues to perform for capacity audiences around the world with live concerts, usually played on his favored instrument, the Bösendorfer piano that features 9 extra lower register keys. A documentary spotlighting the enigmatic musician, All the Notes, was released on DVD in 2006 by director Chris Felver.

In addition to piano, Taylor has always been interested in ballet and dance. His mother, who died while he was still young, was a dancer and also played the piano and violin. Taylor once said: "I try to imitate on the piano the leaps in space a dancer makes". He collaborated with dancer Dianne McIntyre in 1977 and 1979. In 1979 he also composed and played the music for a twelve-minute ballet "Tetra Stomp: Eatin' Rain in Space", featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Heather Watts.

Taylor is also an accomplished poet, citing Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Amiri Baraka as major influences. He often integrates his poems into his musical performances, and they frequently appear in the liner notes of his albums. The CD Chinampas, released by Leo Records in 1987, is a recording of Taylor reciting several of his poems unaccompanied.

Taylor is featured in the 1981 documentary film Imagine the Sound, in which he discusses and performs his music, poetry and dance. He is openly gay.


Discography
Jazz Advance, 1956
The Cecil Taylor Quartet at Newport, 1957
Looking Ahead!, 1958
Coltrane Time (identical with Hard Driving Jazz), 1958
Love for Sale, 1959
The World of Cecil Taylor, 1960
Air, 1961
Jumpin' Punkins, 1961
New York City R&B (with Buell Neidlinger), 1961
Cell Walk for Celeste, 1961
Mixed, 1961
Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come, 1962
Unit Structures, 1966
Conquistador!, 1966
Great Paris Concert, vol 1 & 2 (identical with Student Studies), 1966
Praxis, 1968
Communications, 1968 with Mike Mantler & Carla Bley's "JCOA: Jazz Composer's Orchestra" (featuring Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri.)
The Great Concert (identical with Nuits de la Fondation Maeght), 1969
Indent, 1973
Akisakila, 1973
Solo, 1973
Spring of Two Blue J's, 1973
Silent Tongues, 1974
Dark to Themselves, 1976
Air Above Mountains (Buildings Within), 1976
Nachricht vom Lande, 1976
Cecil Taylor & Mary Lou Williams: Embraced, 1977
Cecil Taylor Unit, 1978
3 Phasis, 1978
Live in the Black Forest, 1978
One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye, 1978
Tony Williams: Joy of Flying, 1978
Cecil Taylor and Max Roach: Historic Concerts, 1979
Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!, 1980
It is in the Brewing Luminous, 1980
Calling it the 8th, 1981
Garden, 1981
Cecil Taylor Segments II (Orchestra of two Continents): Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants), 1984
For Olim, 1986
Olu Iwa, 1986
Iwnontonwusi - Live at Sweet Basil, 1986
Live in Bologna, 1987
Live in Vienna, 1987
Chinampas, 1987
Tzotzil Mummers Tzotzil, 1987
Erzulie Maketh Scent, 1988
Pleistozaen mit Wasser, 1988
Riobec - Cecil Taylor & Günter Sommer, 1988
Leaf Palm Hand, 1988
Spots, Circles, and Fantasy, 1988
Regalia - Cecil Taylor & Paul Lovens, 1988
Remembrance, 1988
The Hearth, 1988
Riobec, 1988
Legba Crossing, 1988
Alms / Tiergarten (Spree), 1988
In East Berlin, 1988
In Florescence, 1989
Looking (Berlin Version) solo, 1989
Looking (Berlin Version) Corona, 1989
Looking (The Feel Trio), 1989
Celebrated Blazons, 1990
Doubly Holy House, 1990
Melancholy - Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström, Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Wolfgang Fuchs
Nailed, 1990
The Tree of Life, 1991
Always a Pleasure - Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström, Tristan Honsinger 1993
The Light of Corona- Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström 1996
Almeda- Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström 1996
Qu'a: Live at the Iridium, vol. 1 & 2 - Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström 1998
Algonquin, 1998
Incarnation, 1999
The Willisau Concert, 2000
Complicité, 2001
Taylor/Dixon/Oxley, 2002
Two T's for a Lovely T, 2003
The Owner of the River Bank, 2004

References
^ Spellman, A. B. (1985 originally 1966). Four Lives in the Bebop Business. Limelight. ISBN 0-87910-042-7.
^ Interview
^ Gill, John (1995). Queer Noises: Male and Female Homosexuality in Twentieth Century Music. University of Minnesota Press, 61. ISBN 0816627193.

Futher Reading
Jazz critic Howard Mandel interviews Taylor in "Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz", 2007, Routledge, ISBN 0415967147

External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Cecil TaylorDiscography of Cecil Taylor, by Richard Shapiro
Cecil Taylor Online Sessionography
The FMP releases
The Shape of Jazz to Come - A panel discussion on April 6, 1964
"Cecil Taylor interview" for the WGBH series, Say Brother
being matter ignited... - Interviewed by Chris Funkhouser on September 3, 1994
Cecil Taylor - Interviewed by Jason Gross, January 2000
Mr. Taylor's Filibuster - Interviewed by Kurt Gottschalk, March 11, 2004
A Fireside Chat With Cecil Taylor - Interviewed by Fred Jung
Another Bio. (originally from All Music Guide)
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Cecil Taylor

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Nis. 29, 2008 11:00 pm

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Cecil Taylor Unit + ballet 1983 Germany Part 1 of 2

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Nis. 29, 2008 11:11 pm

This is a rare glimpse of a monumental, groundbreaking performance by one of the greatest bands that ever played this music. This is Part 1 of 2 clips that cover the last 14 1/2 minutes of the show. Featuring: Cecil Taylor - voice, piano, Jimmy Lyons - alto sax, William Parker - contrabass, Andre' Martinez- percussion/drums, Rashied Bakr - percussion/drums, Brenda Bakr - voice (not featured in this excerpt). The concert also featured two dancers.

Andre' Martinez now co-leads the critically acclaimed free music group, Earth People. They have four Cd's to date and are about to release a new one. Check out: www.earthpeople.tv

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