Saturday, April 12, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Cecil Taylor
Pianist Cecil Taylor has been pioneering free jazz since the 50s. He's a legend but he's not the guy to listen to if you need to have structure in your music. He was born Mar. 25, 1929 in New York City. He studied at the New York School of Music & the New England Conservatory. His early influences were Duke Ellington & Dave Brubeck. He was in groups led by Johnny Hodges & Hot Lips Page. But he has always led his own band since the mid 50s. Taylor is a pioneer of free jazz and that made it difficult for record companies and concert promoters to hire him. His music was considered too advanced. He formed the Jazz Composers Guild. In 1966, he recorded Unit Structures for Blue Note. Musicians were Eddie Gale Stevens Jr. on trumpet, Jimmy Lyons & Ken McIntyre on sax, Henry Grimes & Alan Silva on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums. It's considered a landmark recording now but things were tough for Taylor back then. Things improved somewhat in the 70s. Taylor took up teaching and went on frequent European tours. You may have seen him in the 1981 documentary Imagine The Sound. Cecil Taylor is still playing free jazz today. I've seen him in concert and though I enjoy his music, I recommend others proceed with caution. Here's Cecil Taylor with Jimmy Lyons, Alan Silva & Andrew Cyrille in Paris 1966.