Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Complete Musician/Listener Needs to Hear Cecil Taylor

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?

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