Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cecil Taylor - 1963 - Live At The Cafe Montmartre

Cecil Taylor
Live At The Cafe Montmartre

01. Trance 8:50
02. Call 8:53
03. Lena 6:44
04. D Trad, That's What 21:16

1976 Reissue, expanded for CD
Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come

101. Trance 9:12
102. Call 9:00
103. Lena 6:58
104. D Trad That's What 21:26
105. (Unrecorded Silence) 1:02
106. Call (Second Version) 6:37

201. What's New 12:10
202. Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come 9:10
203. Lena (Second Version) 14:22
204. Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come (Second Version) 8:00
205. (Unrecorded Silence) 1:02
206. D Trad That's What (Second Version) 20:08

Recorded live at the Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen, Denmark, Nov. 23, 1962.
(released in 1963 in Denmark and Netherlands, 1965 in the USA)

Alto Saxophone – Jimmy Lyons
Drums – Sunny Murray
Piano – Cecil Taylor

"There is no music without order--if that music comes from a man's innards." Cecil Taylor.

This is something for Cecil Taylor fans worth checking out. All the existing tapes from Taylor's cafe Montmarte gig from 1962 have been collected along with three previously unheard tracks from the Golden Circle in Stockholm, Sweden, also from 1962. The Montmarte tracks feature a trio and the Circle tracks include bassist Kurt Lindstrom. Fans of Taylor will recognize this music from the albums "Live At The Cafe Montmarte" and "Nefertiti The Beautiful One Has Come". But having all existing tracks in one nice well presented package is a plus. And when you add in the bonus tracks--and all for about the price of a single CD--this is a no-brainer for fans.

The trio is Taylor-piano, Sunny Murray-drums, and Jimmy Lyons-alto sax. The quartet tracks place Lindstrom's bass fairly low in the mix, so at times it still sounds like a trio. The Montmarte tracks have decently good sound. The bonus tracks (one incomplete) were taped off the radio and have some hiss and a slightly far away distorted sound and feel to them. But even with the sonic anomalies they're still enjoyable for Taylor fans (like me) who have an affinity for this fine trio/quartet. The 18 page booklet has a short essay on this release, original liner notes for each album, color reproductions of the album covers, and a few b&w photos. The color photo on the back cover is from an album Taylor recorded for Nat Hentoff.

Everything here is by Taylor except for "What's New?" and "Flamingo". The band gives a typically visceral performance with long solos by both Taylor and Lyons. Murray is a free style drummer who somehow keeps things moving forward. Beginning with "Trance" and "Call" ( #1) you get a good idea of what this band was all about. "Lena" (#1) also tells the story of this fine trio's work, and I could go on. Here I have to say that the original album "Trance" on the Black Lion label has always been a favorite Taylor album of mine. Taylor didn't record for a few years after this until the mid '60s.

If you don't already own the individual albums, or just want to have all these recordings in one package, this is a great set to add to the Cecil Taylor portion of your jazz shelf. Taylor is in fiery style on these tracks, with long solos full of clusters of notes. Lyons (a personal favorite) gets a lot of space to blow. His Charlie Parker inspired playing (although in an entirely different style) is full of vigor and strength. He remains one of the most important alto sax players from his era. Murray (along with Andrew Cyrille and Dennis Charles) was one of Taylor's better drummers. His work still remains relatively unsung except by free jazz fans.