Cecil Taylor is definitely the odd man out in this trio. Along with Ornette Coleman, Taylor was one of the giants of the free jazz movement that rose to prominence in the 1960s. He was dedicated, uncompromising; his music could be difficult to understand. For those reasons and more, he didn’t work all that often (trumpeter Ted Curson once recalled a year of rehearsal for one recording session), but he loved it when he did.
When you work,” he said in an interview,
what happens to your psyche—the metamorphosis of you as a human being—is so complete that you live on a different plane. All your energies and capabilities are realized or in the process of being realized. You have much more energy—off the stand as well as on—than you had imagined.”
That is obvious in Silent Tongues, a 1974 set from the Montreux Jazz Festival. This is quintessential Cecil Taylor—thoughtful, lyrical, ferocious and possessed of an astonishing technique at the keyboard. For Taylor fans, this CD is a must. For those who don’t know him, his sheer passion will carry you along.
1. Abyss (First Movement), Petals & Filaments (Second Movement), Jitney (Third Movement) 18:32, 2. Crossing (Fourth Movement) Part One 8:36, 3. Crossing (Fourth Movement) Part Two 10:00, 4. After All (Fifth Movement) 9:39, 5. Jitney No. 2 3:25, 6. After All No. 2 2:50
Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, July 2, 1974