SIZZLING AND SIMMERING, Cecil Taylor Takes Off!
RBSProds | Deep in the heart of Texas | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five INCREDIBLE Stars! This timeless 1958 classic, "Hard Driving Jazz" has finally jumped to CD and it's pumped up with no less than six extra special tracks: two tracks of the fabulous Cecil Taylor with the redoubtable Steve Lacy (before he went to exclusively playing Monk tunes), plus four tracks of Buell Neidlinger's trio featuring Cecil, both extras from 1956 but not sounding dated in the least. Some new jazz aficionados will find this challenging listening, especially the six extra tracks. The number of standards here certainly gives the new listener a lot of reference points to keep track of his surroundings, while Taylor is disintegrating and re-integrating the components of these songs. The "HDJ" beat is conventional, but not so throughout the remainder of the CD. AND there is the presence of a bristling, developing John Coltrane on the HDJ tracks, especially his work on "Like Someone in Love". (Note his entry after Israel's solo-amazing!)
Cecil Taylor was sometimes accused of sounding like Monk, but their development was indepedent, like Coltrane and Booker Ervin had developed in different cities, ignorant of each other's experiments. Taylor has a more propulsive, two-handed, percussive style with dissonant chords. Monk was more harmonic in his orientation with his own percussive style and musical language. Taylor was even more iconoclastic than most musicians, already hearing musically different than the prevailing norms, and not really expecting to make the big bucks. Listen to Taylor's incredible solo approach to Monk's "Bensha Swing" and to the Monk favorite "Sweet and Lovely" from the Neidlinger Trio grouping as a case in point, NOTHING like Monk.
Everything is a "Piece D'Resistance". "Shifting Down" (known as "Blue Spring" on the excellent Kenny Dorham/Cannonball Adderley CD "Joy Spring") is amazing. It provides solo space for everyone concerned, including bassist Israels. Some said at the time that straight ahead jazz musicians like Kenny Dorham couldn't play with guys like Cecil (During a blindfold contest, Miles bristled at the performance of "Money Jungle" with Duke, Mingus, and Max Roach as a trio), but they were wrong. This song in particular shows how all are able to adapt to each other's style. The actual "bridge player" here is Coltrane spanning the "new thing" and straight ahead jazz. 'Trane who gets off a monster solo, as does Kenny and Cecil. Sounds fantastic to me, even after all of these years. "Just Friends" is another classic performance by the group but Cecil's solo on "Like Someone in Love" is breathtaking, as is his comping behind Israels' fabulous solo. Dang, is this really 1958? Yep, it is. All of this Cecil Taylor music was developing separate and aside from Monk and Ornette Coleman who was still in LA I believe. This is one to get and keep in your well-rounded jazz collection. Five INCREDIBLE Stars"
The killing duo and a lot more of Taylor
Alain Robert | Québec | 09/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nobody knowing Coltrane or Taylor should ignore this cd.
2 giants having fun is fun.
And it brings a lot of Taylor (without Coltrane) at the beginning of his incredible road as bonus. Simply a must for prepared listeners."