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Silent Tongues

Cecil Taylor

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Album Review

This is a classic Cecil Taylor solo concert, performed at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival. Taylor plays his five-movement work "Silent Tongues," along with a couple of brief encores. To simplify in explaining what he was doing at this point of time, it can be said that Taylor essentially plays the piano like a drum set, creating percussive and thunderous sounds that are otherworldly and full of an impressive amount of energy and atonal ideas. Many listeners will find these performances to be quite difficult but it is worth the struggle to open up one's perceptions as to what music can be.

Biography

Born: 25 March 1929 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Soon after he first emerged in the mid-'50s, pianist Cecil Taylor was the most advanced improviser in jazz; five decades later he is still the most radical. Although in his early days he used some standards as vehicles for improvisation, since the early '60s Taylor has stuck exclusively to originals. To simplify describing his style, one could say that Taylor's intense atonal percussive approach involves playing the piano as if it were a set of drums. He generally emphasizes dense clusters...
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