The Jazz Show Episode April 18, 2011

Broadcast on 18-Apr-2011

9:00pm - 12:00am

Pianist/composer Cecil Taylor is today recognized as one of the world foremost artists and has received many accolades and honours for his work. His music has always been on the cutting edge and sometimes a great challenge for the casual Jazz listener. Taylor, like that other Jazz iconoclast, Thelonious Monk suffered at the hands of the so-called "Jazz police". He was fired from gigs and booted off more than a few bandstands until he found a group of sympathetic players to work with. This early recording gives the average Jazz listener a clearer picture of Cecil Taylor's musical aims as he was still using the bass (Buell Neidlinger) and the drums (Dennis Charles) in a traditional manner and using 4/4 swing as the basis for his improvisations. He later abandoned that concept and played one on one rhythms and his music became more dense and challenging to the listener. This recording called "Looking Ahead" features Mr. Taylor with his two regular rhythm players plus the only appearance in record by the obscure vibist, Earl Griffith. Their interplay is unique and wonderful but sadly Griffith died not long after this session was completed in June of 1958. Five of the compositions are Taylor's and the ballad is Earl Griffith's composition called "African Violets". Among Taylor's tunes, a mention should go to the title of the last opus called "Excursion On A Wobbly Rail". If you've never heard Cecil Taylor's music before or shied away from it, this is a good place to start. Looking Ahead indeed!

Track Listing:

Sid's Ahead
Miles Davis · Milestones
Little Melonae
Dr. Jackle
Sometimes I'm Happy
Bennie Green · Blows His Horn
Body and Soul
Obligatory Blues
The Cookers · The Cookers
Bien Hoa Blues
Billy Bang · Vietnam, The
Yo! Ho Chi Minh is in
the House
All Aboard
Wynton Marsalis · Jazz at Lincoln Center
Bullet Train
Orchestra/Big Train
Station Call
The Caboose
Luyah! The Glorious Step
Cecil Taylor · Looking Ahead
African Violets
Of What
Excursion on a Wobbly