Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Cecil Taylor Unit - 1973 - Spring Of Two Blue J's

The Cecil Taylor Unit 
Spring Of Two Blue J's

01. Part 1: Spring Of Two Blue-J's 16:19
02. Part 2: Spring Of Two Blue-J's 21:29

Second set of a concert recorded at Town Hall, New York City, November 4, 1973, dedicated to Ben Webster.

Cecil Taylor, piano
Jimmy Lyons, alto saxophone
Sirone, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums

Recorded live at New York's Town Hall in 1974, Spring of Two Blue Jays is split between Taylor's solo piano version of the title song and a quartet rendition featuring veteran Taylor collaborators Andrew Cyrille on drums and Jimmy Lyons on alto saxophone, as well as bassist Sirone. The extended solo piece (both numbers clock in around 20 minutes) finds Taylor subtly moving from faint, romantic chords into knotty and mercurial ruminations, then ending the piece with tumultuous runs over the entire keyboard. With its keen call-and-response motives, endlessly fertile improvisation, and intuitive shifts in dynamics, this piano exploration qualifies as one of Taylor's best and most accessible. The ensemble version is predictably more intense. While Cyrille compliments and provokes Taylor with his supple and energetic work behind the kit, Lyons alternates between comically detached commentary and frenetic wailing on the alto. Sirone gets lost in the mix, but is heard to great effect on a solo spot at the end of the piece. Unfortunately, this fine album is out of print and hard to find, but hopefully it will be reissued by one of the many labels the pianist has recorded for throughout his career.