Cecil Taylor | Artist

Cecil Taylor | Artist

Tags: Era_1950s, Genre_Experimental, Genre_Jazz, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Cecil Taylor was an American avant-garde jazz pianist and poet born 1929 in Long Island, New York. He was classically trained and was one of the pioneers of free jazz. His music is characterised by an energetic, physical approach, resulting in complex improvisation often involving tone clusters and intricate polyrhythms. Taylor began playing piano at age six and went on to study at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory in Boston, where he majored in composition and arranging. During his time in Boston he also became familiar with contemporary European art Music, in particular the composers Bela Bartók and Karlheinz Stockhausen. His first recording, Jazz Advance, was released in 1956. The recording is described in the Penguin Guide to Jazz: "While there are still many nods to conventional post-bop form in this set, it already points to the freedoms in which the pianist would later immerse himself". Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Taylor's music grew more complex and moved away from existing jazz styles. Over his career Taylor released 22 studio albums and over 70 live albums. Some landmark recordings are The World of Cecil Taylor (1961), Unit Structures (1966), Conquistador! (1968), The Cecil Taylor Unit (1978), 3 Phasis (1979) and Winged Serpent (1985). Also recommended are the 1975 album Silent Tongues - Live at Montreux '74, and the 1997 live compilation Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come. According to esteemed music theorist Steven Block, "free jazz originated with Taylor's performances at the Five Spot Cafe in 1957 and with Ornette Coleman in 1959". In 1964, Taylor co-founded the Jazz Composers Guild to enhance opportunities for avant-garde jazz musicians. He died in April 2018, aged 89.

Artist Website: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Taylor

More by Artist: Cecil Taylor

Related Artists: The Feel Trio

Video Clips: Piano Solo, Cecil Taylor and Sam Rivers, Music for These Times

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