Cecil Taylor

The Complete Collection: 1956-1962

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This shockingly inexpensive budget compilation of Cecil Taylor's music from Enlightenment Records contains virtually all of the music he cut on his own records for United Artists, American, and Candid between 1956 and 1962. It even includes three tunes cut with his own sextet -- Jimmy Lyons, Archie Shepp, Ted Curson, Roswell Rudd, Henry Grimes, and Sunny Murray -- from Gil Evans' Into the Hot on Impulse. (Evans may have been given top billing, but his participation was minimal at best.) The four CDs comprise almost eight full albums' worth of material and showcase all of the various ensembles Taylor worked with during the period, as well as collaborative dates such as The Jazz Laboratory set shared with the Donald Byrd-Gigi Gryce group. Though all of these recordings are available separately, some are much easier to come by than others. Among these sets are Taylor's sessions with Buell Neidlinger on New York City R&B and Jumpin' Punkins, and the uneven but interesting Stereo Drive (aka Hard Driving Jazz aka Coltrane Time), with the pianist trying to fit in with the saxophonist, Kenny Dorham, Louis Hayes, and Chuck Israels. The sound is exceptionally good, which is uncommon for such a budget comp, but it should be noted that since this title is being released in the U.K., whose copyright laws are substantially different than Taylor's home country, the U.S., and he sees no royalties. The high grade is for the music not the box, which is simply packaged as a four-disc set in a slipcase.

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 9:13
2 9:00
3 6:59
4 21:28
blue highlight denotes track pick