Originally posted on April 17, 2008
If you know who Cecil Taylor is, then you are on the game. If you don’t, suffice to say that he is a pianist of distinctive qualities and a pioneer in outside jazz making. Jimmy Carter, after a White House appearance by Taylor, expressed that he’d wished he played piano like him. There’s a CD on Cadence that I think is one of the best of the later issues (All the Notes, recorded in 2000). It’s a live date with Dominic Duval on bass and Jackson Krall on drums. Taylor never sounded more elated and perhaps it was the supporting musicians that inspired him. I don’t know about that, but in any event this is some CD, if you have the ears to hear it.
The complete musician, I firmly believe, should always keep the ears open to whatever is going on out there. I personally cannot extend that to, for example, some of these folks on the Idol show, but I still believe in openness as a way to proceed. Charlie Parker liked country music, for example. That is pretty amazing. Why not though?