domingo, 1 de enero de 2012

Cecil Taylor

Cecil Percival Taylor (born March 25, 1929, in New York City) is an American pianist and poet. Classically trained, Taylor is generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers of free jazz. His music is characterized by an extremely energetic, physical approach, producing complex improvised sounds, frequently involving tone clusters and intricate polyrhythms. His piano technique has been likened to percussion, for example described as "eighty-eight tuned drums" (referring to the number of keys on a standard piano), and also to Art Tatum's.
Taylor began playing piano at age six and studied at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory. After first steps in R&B and swing-styled small groups in the early 1950s, he formed his own band with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1956.
Taylor's first recording, Jazz Advance, featured Lacy and was released in 1956. It is described by Cook and Morton in the Penguin Guide to Jazz: "While there are still many nods to conventional post-bop form in this set, it already points to the freedoms which the pianist would later immerse himself in." Taylor's Quartet featuring Lacy also appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. He collaborated with saxophonist John Coltrane in 1958 (Stereo Drive, currently available as Coltrane Time).
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Taylor's music grew more complex and moved away from existing jazz styles. Gigs were often hard to come by, and club owners found Taylor's approach to performance (long pieces) unhelpful in conducting business. Landmark recordings, like Unit Structures (1966), appeared. By 1961, Taylor was working regularly with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, one of his most important and consistent collaborators. Taylor, Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray (and later Andrew Cyrille) formed the core personnel of The Unit, Taylor's primary group effort until Lyons's premature death in 1986. With 'the Unit', musicians developed often volcanic new forms of conversational interplay.

Taylor began to perform solo concerts in the early 1970s. Many of these were released on album and include Indent (1973), side one of Spring of Two Blue-J's (1973), Silent Tongues (1974), Garden (1982), For Olim (1987), Erzulie Maketh Scent (1989) and The Tree of Life (1998). He began to garner critical, if not popular, acclaim, playing for Jimmy Carter on the White House Lawn, lecturing as an in-residence artist at universities, and eventually being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and then a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991.
Following Lyons's death in 1986 Taylor formed the Feel Trio in the early 1990s with William Parker (bass) and Tony Oxley (drums); the group can be heard on Celebrated Blazons, Looking (The Feel Trio) and the 10-CD set 2 T's for a Lovely T. He has also performed with larger ensembles and big-band projects. His extended residence in Berlin in 1988 was extensively documented by the German label FMP, resulting in a massive boxed set of performances in duet and trio with a who's who of European free improvisors, including Oxley, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Tristan Honsinger, Louis Moholo, Paul Lovens, and others.
Most of his latter day recordings have been put out on European labels, with the exception of Momentum Space (a meeting with Dewey Redman and Elvin Jones) on Verve/Gitanes. The classical label Bridge released his 1998 Library of Congress performance Algonquin, a duet with violinist Mat Maneri. Taylor continued to perform for capacity audiences around the world with live concerts, usually played on his favored instrument, a Bösendorfer piano that features nine extra lower-register keys. A documentary entitled "All the Notes", was released on DVD in 2006 by director Chris Felver. Taylor was also featured in an earlier documentary film Imagine the Sound (1981), in which he discusses and performs his music, poetry and dance.

Taylor recorded sparingly in the 2000s, but continues to perform with his own ensembles (the Cecil Taylor Ensemble and the Cecil Taylor Big Band) as well as with other musicians such as Joe Locke, Max Roach, and Amiri Baraka. In 2004, the Cecil Taylor Big Band at the Iridium 2005 was nominated a best performance of 2004 by All About Jazz, and the same in 2009 for the Cecil Taylor Trio at the Highline Ballroom in 2009. The trio consisted of Taylor, Albey Balgochian, and Jackson Krall. An autobiography, more concerts, and other projects are in the works. In 2010, Triple Point Records released a deluxe limited edition double LP titled Ailanthus/Altissima: Bilateral Dimensions of Two Root Songs, a set of duos with long-time collaborator Tony Oxley that was recorded live at the Village Vanguard in New York City.

Cecil Percival Taylor (n. Nueva York; 25 o 15 de marzo1 de 1929) es un pianista y percusionista estadounidense de jazz. Encuadrado en la vanguardia jazzística, ha frecuentado la mayor parte de los estilos surgidos a continuación del hard bop, especialmente el free jazz, con frecuentes aproximaciones a la improvisación libre.
Sus primeras influencias fueron las de Duke Ellington y Dave Brubeck. Su toque de piano es característicamente percusivo.
Taylor comenzó su estudio del piano a los seis años de edad y se matriculó en el New York College of Music y en el Conservatorio de música de Nueva Inglaterra.
Sus primeras actuaciones fueron con grupos liderados por Johnny Hodges y Hot Lips Page. Después, al formar a mediados de los años cincuenta un cuarteto con músicos como Steve Lacy (saxo soprano), Buell Neidlinger (bajo) y Dennis Charles (batería), Taylor abandonó sus actuaciones como acompañante.
Con su grupo, trabajó en 1956 en él y actuó en 1957 en el Newport Jazz Festival. En 1960 grabó con profusión para Candid y con Archie Shepp como saxo tenor.
En 1962, se incorporaron al cuarteto Jimmy Lyons al saxo alto y Sunny Murray a la batería. Estuvieron seis meses de gira en Europa y a su regreso a Estados Unidos Taylor se retiró durante un año. En 1964 colaboró en la fundación de the Jazz Composer's Guild y en 1968, junto a Carla Bey, Don Cherry, Michael Mantler y otros formó una asociación cooperativa que agrupó a músicos del free jazz denominada Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association.

En los setenta enseñó en la Universidad de Wisconsin en Madison, en el Antioch College, y en el Glassboro State College, y grabó frecuentemente con su grupo Unit, además de realizar constantes giras por Europa. Galardonado con un Guggenheim Fellowship en 1973, consiguió eludir sus problemas económicos. Actúa en la Casa Blanca durante la administración Carter en 1979.
Trabajó con Mary Lou Williams y con el batería Max Roach, y empezó a incorporar a sus conciertos fragmentos de su excéntrica poesía.

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