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Michael Weiss

Don't Miss Cecil Taylor at the Vanguard

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1st set last night was great. Wish Cecil was playing solo, which he almost was (duo with Tony Oxley). Cecil to me sounds as if he'd play the same thing no matter who is playing with him or if he was by himself. But here, the percussion chatter just wouldn't stop - a little laying out here and there would have gone a long way IMO.

The only other pianist I saw there was George Wein!

Edited by Michael Weiss

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Was it with Oxley?

With George Wein? That's be interesting. But seriously, It's Taylor with Oxley.

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Heard the second set tonight. Cecil played beautiful themes, gorgeous sonorities and with the stamina of a man half his age. Believe me, that's a shitload of piano playing - two sets a night, for a 79 year old, pretty much nonstop for 70-90 minutes at a stretch. The NYTimes review is a pretty good reference.

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Was it with Oxley?

With George Wein? That's be interesting. But seriously, It's Taylor with Oxley.

:rofl:

Yeah - and it's such *physical* piano playing. It always amazes me how ingenious Cecil is in his movement at the keyboard. The 'dancing' really enables him to play gestures which from the traditional 'classical' posture (for want of a better word) really are next to impossible to play.

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I caught the first set last night and I was completely blown away. CT played some things at what seemed like supersonic speed(I sat right up against the stage and had an excellent view- CT was about 3 feet away fom me) and then would slow it down to a ballad tempo. He played three pieces and each piece was thoroughly explored, with CT and Oxley going down numerous back alleys in each piece yet winding up on the main road in the end.

As Michael Weiss pointed out earlier there were a few times that Oxley was better served laying out, but those were very few.

I could have stayed for the second set but after the intensity of the first set I couldn't handle another set- my neurons would've overloaded. If you can see him DO SO!!!!

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As Michael Weiss pointed out earlier there were a few times that Oxley was better served laying out, but those were very few.

Oxley always blended well with Cecil and was hair-trigger fast in catching Cecil's rhythms. From an overall sonic perspective, just a few seconds of rest here and there would have been welcome.

Yeah - and it's such *physical* piano playing. It always amazes me how ingenious Cecil is in his movement at the keyboard. The 'dancing' really enables him to play gestures which from the traditional 'classical' posture (for want of a better word) really are next to impossible to play.

Granted, it's very intelligent movement, but there are plenty of pieces in classical piano literature that require the same kind of hand crossing movements that Cecil uses. The Feinberg Sonatas are full of passages like these. Cecil's technique is totally grounded in classical training and because of THAT he is able to play and execute whatever he wants to. And though it is motherfucking physically demanding he makes it look beautifully graceful.

And his stamina, physically and mentally, is astounding. Each set, Cecil plays about as much piano as most of us play in a week. Two sets a night, six nights in a row at 79.

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I was supposed to be in for the Vanguard sets from Friday thru Sunday but had to change plans at the last minute. Nice to hear that Cecil and Tony are still happening. I was just playing a tape from a concert that they did last fall in Italy and it was brilliant. Recent solo sets from Cecil have shown him exploring a mellower, more lyrical side. I heard one in Toronto last June and in NY this June. It has prompted some to assume that Cecil is slowing down as he approaches 80 years of age. While there may be some inevitable truth here, I don;t think that he is. I've seen sets with him over the past few years with his Big Band at Iridium and with Pheeroan Ak Laff and Henry Grimes there that just smoked.

I was fortunate enough to catch all of the sets that he did with Tony back in 2000 at Tonic. The two were locked in so tight and playing off one another so sympathetically that it was truly amazing. And the energy level just seemed to rise in each subsequent set. I know that this is eight years later but I sense that it is all still there. I'd be interested in hearing more comments about these Vanguard sets.

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I've been at every set fro Tuesday to Friday. I will be there again tonight. The shows are absolutely incredible. Cecil never does anything the same in any of the eight sets I've seen. The 9PM sets for Saturday and Sunday are sold out. For those wondering should I go, yes, make the 11 PM set one of the remaining night.

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I've been at every set fro Tuesday to Friday. I will be there again tonight. The shows are absolutely incredible. Cecil never does anything the same in any of the eight sets I've seen. The 9PM sets for Saturday and Sunday are sold out. For those wondering should I go, yes, make the 11 PM set one of the remaining night.

Good for you catching every set. I couldn't stay for the second set on Thursday- I was exhausted after one set, it was just sooo intense.

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Was down again for the secong set tonight. Aside from Daniel Sadownick who came with me one night, Billy Hart and Roswell Rudd are the only other musicians I saw there (that I knew or recognized) the whole week. What's up with that?!?!? Where were the pianists?

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I only made it for Tuesday and Wednesday. Every other night I missed due to work and/or flu. Tuesday night's opening set was astonishing (IMO). The second set was... dare I say it... a bit bland by comparison. Wednesday night's first set never really got any momentum going for me. But the second set was incredible.

I really wish I could have gone more nights.

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Was down again for the secong set tonight. Aside from Daniel Sadownick who came with me one night, Billy Hart and Roswell Rudd are the only other musicians I saw there (that I knew or recognized) the whole week. What's up with that?!?!? Where were the pianists?

Joey Barron was there as well. I was sitting near him and I asked if he was Joey Baron and he said yes.

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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As Michael Weiss pointed out earlier there were a few times that Oxley was better served laying out, but those were very few.

Oxley always blended well with Cecil and was hair-trigger fast in catching Cecil's rhythms. From an overall sonic perspective, just a few seconds of rest here and there would have been welcome.

Yeah - and it's such *physical* piano playing. It always amazes me how ingenious Cecil is in his movement at the keyboard. The 'dancing' really enables him to play gestures which from the traditional 'classical' posture (for want of a better word) really are next to impossible to play.

Granted, it's very intelligent movement, but there are plenty of pieces in classical piano literature that require the same kind of hand crossing movements that Cecil uses. The Feinberg Sonatas are full of passages like these. Cecil's technique is totally grounded in classical training and because of THAT he is able to play and execute whatever he wants to. And though it is motherfucking physically demanding he makes it look beautifully graceful.

And his stamina, physically and mentally, is astounding. Each set, Cecil plays about as much piano as most of us play in a week. Two sets a night, six nights in a row at 79.

Michael - no, absolutely - I'm aware of hand crossing etc. in the classical repertoire! I wasn't referring to that, but rather to his rocking/swaying [neither quite the right word; I'm too tired to rustle that up at the moment!] at the keyboard, which really seems to facilitate his passage-work. And yes - as you say, he is so graceful at the keyboard!

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