jive rhapsodist | NYC, NY United States | 03/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WKCR, I love you...if it wasn't for you, I'd never have bought another Cecil Taylor CD. I've been listening to him for 35 years, and while the man is an indisputable genius (at least I believe so),as time goes on I have less and less patience with his hectoring and his perorations. In my soul I am a post-Cagian, with big issues around the imposition of rhetoric upon musical structure and discourse. Whew! But that being said, check this CD out! This disc has one of CT's most gutbucket of personnels - Carlos Ward is what made me really pay attention when I heard it for the first time: "wait! that's not Jimmy Lyons...cut from the same cloth but...funkier...less boppy...no Charlie Parker as cut up and rearranged by William Burroughs and John Ashbery...". And Thurman Barker is really the eternal TDWR of 2nd generation Free Jazz - no matter how abstract the context, he burns. The rhythm team of Barker and William Parker makes this one of Cecil's groovingest discs. And the man is up to it - 25 years after Port of Call. He is rocking here - whoever says that he's not a Jazz player but some kind of hybrid of Jazz and Modern Concert Music really needs to hear this disc. Whatever Cecil got from Contemporary Classical Music is used to sweeten and deepen the pot.But what I really hear are all kinds of echoes and abstractions from Duke, Horace Silver, Erroll Garner, Earl Hines, Herbie Nichols, all kinds of blues and boogie and barrelhouse traditions...lots of call-and-response, lots of bluesy mimesis, riffing...I'd like to hear Kontarsky or Tudor do those things! People are stupid...but what can you do? Just put this CD on, dance around the room like a broken scarecrow, and let the world go by...For the record, Leroy Jenkins on violin is a really acquired taste, but he's pretty good here.
Minor Cavil: I wish they could've banded this CD so one could skip the noodling in this middle if one wanted (no-one's finest hour), but...that's showbiz. The first 20 - or - so minutes of this disc are indispensable. When they come back after the noodling there is a kind of clash between Ward and Taylor's concepts of modality (Ward's is much simpler). Cecil gives it up to Ward, but I'm not sure that's the right choice...But then there's the long section that starts about 56 minutes in: groove music solidly in G, like some kind of space-age combination of "We're Gonna Have a Funky Good Time" and "Flyin' Home" (sans bridge). Some kind of career highpoint. Those lucky Bolognese!"
Excellent Music from an Excellent Group
Nicholas Sheets | new york, ny USA | 03/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With most Taylor albums it is the case that it takes several months, and several listens, before I begin to appreciate them. This album was no exception, as the first half-hour is incredibly unconventional. However, with repeated listenings I have come to appreciate what the band is doing during the introduction. The highlights for me, however, are the celestial middle flute section and the conclusion, which seems a coming together of the chaotic opening and the peaceful middle interlude. In addition to the album's music, a highlight for me is the presence of William Parker, perhaps the Mingus of contemporary jazz. From the very beginning, Parker forms an unusual and wonderful accompaniment to Taylor, and also adds terrific atmosphere to Ward's flute during the middle section. Hence, this is an album that will satisfy fans of both Parker and Taylor, two of the most important jazz musicians of the past 35 years."
richard smith | Austin, TX | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My first Cecil Taylor cd and still among my very favorites. For non-Cecil Taylor fans, the first twenty minutes may be a little plodding, but a beautiful, meditative flute passage by Carlos Ward, followed by a heavy trance section at the hour mark make the seventy minute single cut seem too short. Not as molten as "It is in the Brewing Luminous" or as labyrinthine as "Silent Tongues", this is as accessible as any of his works, but still as astonishing to me as when I first heard it ten years ago."