Saturday, November 11, 2006


Well America... We did it! We finally beat the Republicans. No more do we have to hang signs like this one:

In other news, for the first time in my life I witnessed Cecil Taylor live last Saturday (Nov. 4). In all honesty, I haven't studied Taylor's music by immersing myself in his body of work. Nor have I ever purchased a Cecil Taylor album.

So what made me go see Cecil Taylor live? I'm not sure. I felt somewhat of an obligation to myself to see what all the hype has been about. But I also wanted to discover what he and his music were about and more importantly how his playing affected me.

Coming away from last Saturday night's show, it seems as if buying a recording would only do injustice to the Cecil Taylor live experience. Just watching the guy curl and stretch and bang hurriedly across the keyboard in a swath of tempi and dynamics is a visceral experience for the eyes. I felt like my ears were trying to play catch up with what I was seeing. This melodramatic body language was central to the experience. It bespoke his internal struggle to express his personal voice without repeating himself (though he did, many times over).

I would probably prefer to hear his poetry on recording only, as I could barely hear any of his 5 minute monologue which preceeded the music. 95 minute show on the full Bosendorfer grand piano specially ordered for this gig, his first in Philadelphia in over 20 years.

1 comment:

hungrymonsters said...

Taylor was playing an American Steinway D