Cecil Taylor

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Air Review

by AllMusic

Avant-garde icon Cecil Taylor has a superfluity of gems in his catalogue, but his recordings from the early 1960s have a special significance in that they represent the pianist's transition from a traditional post-bop approach to his more abstract stylings. Lyrical, bluesy, and driven by bold improvisation, 1960's AIR is an excellent example of Taylor's early work. Along with saxophonist Archie Shepp (who sits in on two numbers) and a sharp, tight-knit rhythm section, Taylor can be heard stretching the jazz canvas of the era, forming the radical vocabulary he would master on landmark albums like 1966's UNIT STRUCTURES. AIR is a must for Taylor fans, and is also a good entry point for those who find his later work too jarring or abrasive.

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