Early Cecil for Sale
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Love for Sale" was an early Cecil Taylor studio album recorded in 1959, though not released on CD until Blue Note's reissue of 1998. The date finds Cecil in transition -- first playing three Cole Porter tunes (the first three tracks) with a trio that includes Buell Neidlinger (bass) and Dennis Charles (drums) -- though mysteriously, previous LP releases credit Chris White and Rudy Collins as the sidemen. Although Cecil was still deeply rooted in the post-bop tradition at this point of his career, he nonetheless deconstructs the three standards with characteristic dissonant chords and free explorations well beyond the melody. However, he does actually play the melody and hadn't yet taken off into the maniacally fast, structured chaos that would become his signature style after the 70's. The tunes are therefore quite accessible as Cecil goes, though clearly something vastly different and 'avant garde' (and therefore potentially difficult to absorb) compared to say, contemporary at the time Bill Evans. The latter three tracks are Cecil originals, but add Ted Curson (trumpet) and Bill Barron (tenor sax) to the trio line-up. The result is that despite the original Taylor compositions, the horns play fairly restrained choruses and solos that again keep the music (and Cecil as accompaniest) rooted in melody, hard bop, and tradition. In the middle of this studio date, Cecil abandoned the piano-bass-drums trio format for the next two decades in favor of at least one horn (usually saxophonist Jimmy Lyons until his death) -- this is therefore one of the last chances to hear Cecil in standard trio format for quite some time. It's a good album, but kind of a mixed bag given the shift between the two different group formats -- worth having if you're a fan of Cecil's early departures, but only after you've listened to "Jazz Advance," "Looking Ahead!," and "Coltrane Time" and are hungry for more."
Early Cecil Taylor
Daniel J. Ames | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Love For Sale" is easily one of the most accesible Cecil Taylor albums extant and is perhaps the best starting off point to the understanding of Mr. Taylor's music(with Monk much in evidence as a source, as well as the influence of the much earlier "stride" pianists as well). The fact that a number of the cuts on this Lp are well known standards allows the listener to more easily follow Mr. Taylor's improvisations, thus giving a map and a primer for the music to come."