Cecil Taylor: E.B.
Cecil Taylor (piano)
The World Of Cecil Taylor (Candid CCD-79006)
Composed by Cecil Taylor.
Recorded: October 12 or 13, 1960
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Cecil back when he swung … well, not exactly, although bassist Buell Niedlinger and drummer Dennis Charles kick into a smokin' freebop groove about a quarter of the way into this track, forcing Taylor to deal with strict time. He does so in his unpredictably eccentric way, occasionally locking in with straight-eighth rhythms, but more often playing over and about the time, conjuring waves of asymmetrical, very fast, tonally obscure lines. In a Blindfold Test, he might be mistaken for Don Pullen—Taylor foreshadows the work of the younger pianist in the way he melds bop and free techniques. The swinging is framed by an out-of-time, gestural beginning and ending, making the performance something of a transition between Taylor's early, somewhat more conventionally-swinging work and his later stream-of-consciousness free-time explorations. Listening to this superb performance, one can imagine some Taylor fans wishing he'd not ultimately deserted the verities of explicit swing so completely.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey