Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley ....... Being Astral And All Registers / Power Of Two......

Dating back to May 2002, a live recording made at the Ulrichsberg festival in Austria and until now seemingly unreleased, certainly a must and not only for free-jazz appreciators because Cecil Taylor changed jazz and even anticipated Ornette …

Published: 3 Dec 2020. Updated: 45 days.

Dating back to May 2002, a live recording made at the Ulrichsberg festival in Austria and until now seemingly unreleased, certainly a must and not only for free-jazz appreciators because Cecil Taylor changed jazz and even anticipated Ornette Coleman's free-jazz revolution and his innovations are more of relevance than ever in terms of combatting inertia and actually continuing to gain a better understanding of what free improvisation can sound like in a fully conceived form. (Also of interest in terms of current releases although more on the spoken word and poetry side of Taylor's work and no way nearly as compelling is the issuing of the earlier At Angelica 2000 Bologna.)

The realisation remains after listening that the pianist-innovator's music is still more advanced than nearly everything around all these years on. Jazz Advance by his standards a very old fashioned record, but anything but, was only the beginning in 1956. Taylor, who died two years ago, also possessed that sheer grandeur and stateliness that only a few of the greatest pianists (Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett) ever exhibited and which means that in all their cases their artistic vision is so vast that pianism is only a part of its totality.

All jazz listeners and musicians are still catching up with the scale of Taylor's achievements. We as a world community may never be able to ever grasp all that he has to offer. Taylor is in duo on these two extensive improvisations with one of his most empathetic and longstanding drummer collaborators, the Englishman Tony Oxley whose open, spacious approach is remarkable. Full on and intense but that is only one part of the effect on ……. Being Astral And All Registers / Power Of Two…… because Taylor smashes through to another space entirely, his extensive use of abstraction populating a saturated canvas alert and ready to transform in a maximalist way depending on the way he directs the light to shine on each note and passage. That light means revelation upon revelation. On Discus Music.

Tags: Reviews

Kevin Sun (Un)seaworthy

There is something exceptionally satisfying once again about the Kevin Sun approach. The tenor saxophonist has plenty of room to roam recording at Big Orange Sheep in Brooklyn last year. Without a true harmony instrument in sight only the open …

Published: 2 Dec 2020. Updated: 45 days.

Next post

There is something exceptionally satisfying once again about the Kevin Sun approach. The tenor saxophonist has plenty of room to roam recording at Big Orange Sheep in Brooklyn last year. Without a true harmony instrument in sight only the open architecture of bassist Walter Stinson and drummer Matt Honor to pore over as a blueprint indicate a direction that somehow becomes a destination in itself.

While relatively brief and beware the cover art might make you feel huey green all over (where's an open porthole when you need one?) appetite restored there is plenty of meat on the bone on (Un)seaworthy whether on sinewy opener 'Bad Lady' or in the uneasiness of 'Seaworthy (Unseaworthy)' where rubato is used to destabilise and contribute to a salty sense of alt.swing. Overall there is an emphasis on flux achieved step by step progressing on.

Sun chooses to understate his method. Paying homage to Lester Young and Charlie Parker in his own way via his own knotty approach to harmony and his own tunes this is a modernist homage not made to shock but more to destablise. Together the trio manage to magnify the essential intimacy of their sound and bypass their inspirations and smoulder all over your consciousness in quite the act of subversion that ignites an inner fire as you listen.

Out now on Endectomorph.