The World of Cecil Taylor 

Cecil Taylor at moers festival 2008

Source: The New York Review of Books.

In 1966, the pianist Cecil Taylor appeared in Les Grandes Répétitions, a series of Nouvelle Vague-influenced documentaries for French television about Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and other modern composers. Taylor, who died at eighty-nine in April, was the only jazz musician featured. The avant-garde jazz movement was young, brash, and commanding increasing respect from a classical establishment that had been, at best, indifferent to black music, and Taylor, a conservatory-trained pianist who was creating a radical synthesis of jazz improvisation and European modernism, had emerged as one of its most militant and sophisticated leaders. That same year, he had ended a four-year recording silence with two extraordinary albums, Unit Structures and Conquistador! He was also profiled in A.B. Spellman’s classic book on the avant-garde, Four Lives in the Bebop Business. After more than a decade working menial jobs to pay his bills, he was finally living off his art, and being noticed. Far from being grateful for the attention, though, he insisted that mere recognition was not enough; he wanted to change the very terms of the discussion about musical creation and musical value.


Newsbits: Talea Ensemble / Brotzmann & Leigh / Susan Alcorn / John Zorn / Irène Schweizer / Bassoon Weaponry

A recent Talea Ensemble performance is reviewed.

A Peter Brotzmann and Heather Leigh performance in Sydney is also reviewed.

Elysium Furnace Works is proud to present the acclaimed experimental pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, who will perform in a solo concert at the Howland Cultural Center on Saturday, June 2 at 8 PM. Opening for Ms. Alcorn will be the Beacon-based musician Mark Trecka.

John Zorn’s new album, Insurrection, gets a review.

Irène Schweizer has been given the Swiss Grand Award for Music 2018.

And in news of the unusual, a man’s bassoon was mistaken for a gun. Luckily for everyone, they did not have to pry it from his cold, dead hands.

AMN Picks of the Week: Cochrane & Popejoy / Polyorchard / Mz.412 / Evil Genius / Reid Karris Group

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Chris Cochrane / Stuart Popejoy – Geologic Time (2018)
Polyorchard – sextet | quintet (2018)
Mz.412 – Ulvens Broder (2018)
Evil Genius – Experiments on Human Subjects (2018)
Reid Karris Group – Ghost Dancers Slay Together (2018)

Margaret Leng Tan at the Ecstatic Music Festival Reviewed

Source: I Care If You Listen.

On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at Merkin Hall, Margaret Leng Tan performed a program entitled “Cage, Crumb, and Beyond—Celebrating the Avant-Garde Piano” as the final concert of this season’s Ecstatic Music Festival, co-presented by New Sounds Live. Most notably, this concert featured the New York premiere of George Crumb’s Metamorphoses (Book I) (2015-17), his first major work for the piano since the Makrokosmos series forty years prior.

Avant Scena Reviews

Source: Avant Scena.

Andreae / Birchall / Nakamura / Willberg – “Live at Ftarri” (Raw Tonk Records, 2018)

once gravity trio – “hidden river” (Plus Timbre, 2018)

Tatsuya Nakatani|Mark Weaver – “weaver nakatani” (Plutonium Records, 2018)

New Thing Unit – “For Cecil Taylor” (2018)

Aram Shelton & Håkon Berre – “Dormancy” (2018)

Jon Irabagon – “Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics” (Irabbagast Records, 2018)

Chris Burn / Simon H. Fell – “Continuous Fragments” (Bruce’s Fingers, 2018)

Keith Tippett Fund 

Keith Tippett

Source: The Wire.

Keith Tippett has suffered a heart attack, followed by complications from pneumonia. Although the 71 year old pianist has returned home, he is unable to work for the foreseeable future. Now two funds have been set up to help with living costs.

Hazel Miller of Ogun Records is collecting PayPal donations to be sent to the musician directly; and saxophonist and composer Martin Archer, owner of Discus Music, has offered him all the proceeds from Tippett’s 2016 release The Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon.

AMN Picks of the Week: Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin / Sloth Racket / Adam O’Farrill / Gallio, Shocron, & Diaz / Kira Kira

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Nik Bärtsch Ronin – Awase (2018)
Sloth Racket – A Glorious Monster (2018)
Adam O’Farrill’s Stranger Days – El Maquech (2018)
Christoph Gallio / Paula Shocron / Pablo Diaz – Statements (2018)
Kira Kira – Bright Force (2018)