Cecil Taylor: Tales (8 Whisps)


Tales (8 Whisps)


Cecil Taylor (piano)


Unit Structures (Blue Note 84237)

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Cecil Taylor (piano), Andrew Cyrille (drums),

Alan Silva (bass)


Composed by Cecil Taylor


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, May 19, 1966


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

This closing track from Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures LP is the most fully realized piano performance he had recorded until that time. This is also most keyboard-oriented work on the album, and shows that Taylor did not need elaborate horn parts to realize his musical visions. Although "Tales (8 Whisps)" lacks the full-scale fireworks of his solo piano work of the next decade (check out Silent Tongues to get a dose of those), it nonetheless showed that this artist was not a cerebral composer working with abstract concepts, but an energy-jazz radical whose works needed to be felt viscerally as much as heard. Sweeping, orchestral, abrasive - this stands as a significant moment in American pianism from the 1960s.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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