The Feel Trio

Celebrated Blazons

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This trio setting Americans Cecil Taylor and William Parker down with Brit jazz improv drummer Tony Oxley is either a match made in heaven or hell depending on your point of view. Well, heaven or earth maybe. As one would predict with any date featuring Cecil Taylor as a pianist, "out" is certainly the direction. That said, his rhythm section anchored by bassist Parker allows for plenty of room and range in dynamics, color, and texture. Taylor is the undisputed leader and, along with his trills and outrageously extended chord voicings, his singing (or rather moaning and grunting) is also part of the proceedings. This date was recorded at the 1990 Workshop of Free Music in Berlin, and the ensemble plays one long, 56-minute improvisation. Things move slowly at first, with the players getting used to each other before attempting their challenges. And then, as expected, Taylor is off to the races -- ideas fly from his fingers and throat with recklessness and a certain mischievous glee. Parker never answers, but just prods him on, plying long lines to Taylor's choppy bursts, making him furrow the ground more deeply. Oxley, for his part, careens between the two, following Parker until he's sure of the palette and then exploding it with color. And then Taylor moves toward a darker, more expressionist shade of black, where Parker can assume the lead and play fours against Oxley, who calls Taylor out and ups the ante. And on it goes, as formidable players challenge and then unite with one another in a frenetic set of modes, tempos, and atmospheres until they reach a horizon, mutually agreed upon as a point of entering silence. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 56:41
blue highlight denotes track pick