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Dark to Themselves

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Album Review

This CD reissue has a continuous 61-plus-minute performance by pianist Cecil Taylor and his 1976 quintet (which also includes such fiery players as trumpeter Raphe Malik, his longtime altoist Jimmy Lyons, tenor saxophonist David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards). There is a quick theme along with brief transitions that form the composition "Streams and Chorus of Seed" but the bulk of the passionate performance is taken up by spontaneous and intense solos. Listeners with very open ears and longtime fans of Cecil Taylor can consider this explosive performance to be essential.

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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