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March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Cecil Taylor

Another March birthday for an Avant-Garde legend.  Cecil Taylor turned 84 today.
I remember the moment when I first heard Taylor. I was listening to Jazz Advance on Blue Note Records. It has been a rollercoaster of awesome ever since.  

What's invigorating about Taylor's work is that he'll never break from his concepts.  During an era when so many musicians in the scene started to move towards more commercial aesthetics, Taylor would rather wash dishes than de-evolve his music.  It was this uncompromising mentality that has paid off for listeners.

One of my favorite Cecil Taylor albums is Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!.  Put out by the German label MPS in 1980, samples of this record are hard to come by on the internet.  But a few cuts from this solo release do exist on Youtube (and here, and here).  

Alternatively, I am leaving you with a solo piece that works in the same vein.  This  excerpt hails from Ron Mann's 1981 documentary "Imagine the Sound."

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