Cecil Taylor has long been a favorite of many top jazz critics while confounding some jazz fans with his often dissonant attack on piano. Yet this 1980 solo piano studio session may be one of his hidden gems, a suite of eight originals that give a better indication of his vast musical knowledge and ability to blend many styles within a single composition. Taylor is very accessible in each of these compositions, drawing from 20th century classical influences in addition to blending bop, avant-garde, brief snippets of boogie and more, creating dramatic pieces that could only be his own. This is easily one of Cecil Taylor's most rewarding record dates, a virtuoso effort that ought to be a starting point for new jazz fans unfamiliar with his work. This 2012 Promising Music reissue remixed the tapes to bring out better sound, while original producer Joachim Ernst Berendt's liner notes are complemented with essays by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and notes by reissue label owner Consul Bodo Jacoby.
Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Review
by Ken Dryden