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The Complete Collection: 1956-1962 (5CD) Box set

5 customer reviews

Price: £12.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Complete Collection: 1956-1962 (5CD)
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  • Twelve Classic Albums: 1959-1962
Total price: £35.46
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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 July 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Enlightenment
  • ASIN: B00JWS9I9U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,504 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Bemsha Swing
2. Charge 'Em Blues
3. Azure
4. Song
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Luyah! The Glorious Step
2. African Violets
3. Of What
4. Wallering
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Get Out Of Town
2. I Love Paris
3. Love For Sale
4. Little Lees
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Air
2. This Nearly Was Mine
3. Port Of Call
4. E.B.
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Trance
2. Call
3. Lena
4. D Trad, That's What

Product Description

Cecil Percival Taylor, born March 25, 1929, is an American pianist and poet. Classically trained, Taylor is generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers of free jazz. His music is characterised by an extremely energetic, physical approach, producing complex improvised sounds, frequently involving tone clusters and intricate polyrhythms. His piano technique has been likened to percussion, for example described as "eighty-eight tuned drums" (referring to the number of keys on a standard piano). He has also been compared to "Art Tatum with contemporary-classical leanings." Taylor began playing piano at age six and studied at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory. After first steps in R&B and swing-styled small groups in the early 1950s, he formed his own band with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1956. Taylor's first recording, Jazz Advance, featured Lacy and was released in 1956. It is described by Cook and Morton in the Penguin Guide to Jazz: "While there are still many nods to conventional post-bop form in this set, it already points to the freedoms which the pianist would later immerse himself in." Taylor's Quartet featuring Lacy also appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. He collaborated with saxophonist John Coltrane in 1958 on the album Stereo Drive. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Taylor's music grew more complex and moved away from existing jazz styles. Gigs were often hard to come by, and club owners found Taylor's approach to performance (long pieces) unhelpful in conducting business. Landmark recordings, like Unit Structures (1966), appeared. With 'The Unit', musicians developed often volcanic new forms of conversational interplay. In the early 1960s, an unaccredited Albert Ayler worked for a time with Taylor, jamming and appearing on at least one recording, Four , unreleased until 2004. By 1961, Taylor was working regularly with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, one of his most important and consistent collaborators. Taylor, Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray (and later Andrew Cyrille) formed the core personnel of The Unit, Taylor's primary group effort until Lyons's premature death in 1986. Lyons' playing, strongly influenced by jazz icon Charlie Parker, retained a strong blues sensibility and helped keep Taylor's increasingly avant-garde music tethered to the jazz tradition. In the 1970s Cecil Taylor often played live as a solo performer and many recordings of such gigs were released on album. In 1978 he played on The White House lawn in front of President Jimmy Carter. He continued to gig throughout the 80s and formed the Feel Trio in the early 1990s with William Parker (bass) and Tony Oxley (drums). Although Cecil s activity has been sparse in recent years, now well into his eighties he still occasionally performs with his Cecil Taylor Ensemble. In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize for Music. Cecil Taylor is also a poet, citing Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Amiri Baraka as major influences. He often integrates his poems into his musical performances, and they frequently appear in the liner notes of his albums. The CD Chinampas, released by Leo Records in 1987, is a recording of Taylor reciting several of his poems, accompanying himself on percussion. This 5 disc set includes all the recordings released by Taylor between 1956 the year of his recording debut and 1962, the period which, for most of his audience, contains the finest work this maverick musician ever produced.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Music Lover on 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase
Early offerings from one who I think of as the greatest jazz pianist of them all(of course,there are many styles of jazz pianism,so you may think otherwise-- if you're a stride,or ragtime fan,for example).
Included here are nine albums' worth(well,eight,really,as Newport was shared with Gigi Gryce,and the Gil Evans has only those tracks with Cecil)on five cd's,all enclosed in a clamshell jewel box with a clever design to allow the fifth disc to be included in this neat package.
Packaging aside,however,it's the content that really matters,and it becomes clear from the start just how influential Monk must've been on the young Cecil,as there is more of that man's style than Cecil's own(initially,at any rate),which is beginning to emerge,but not as confidently as would later be the case.
I also wondered if the inclusion of Steve Lacey was perhaps a nod in the direction of Dave Brubeck(sounding a little Paul Desmond-ish to some,maybe,but to me more Art Pepper like),one of the only two people that I can recall Cecil ever acknowledging( the aforementioned Monk being the other)as a musical "like".
Sound is very good,weighted in favour of the piano(in some instances,at least),but all the parts clearly audible:In sum, this record company have given us an excellent,very inexpensive 5 3/4 hours of the nascent years of a true genius.
It has been said that for those who don't fully appreciate Cecil Taylor that he is more admired than liked,but anyone who may hesitate at his later works can only find things to enjoy herein,I would have thought.
And maybe,,just maybe, a purchaser of this might go on to discover the other great works of this,the greatest of all jazz pianists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bob Murray on 2 Mar. 2015
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I don't know I would call Cecil Taylor the greatest pianist ever, as another reviewer does, but he is undoubtedly a very significant figure and this five C.D. set is a very valuable example of his work. It showcases his development from the 1956 recording of 'Jazz Advance' to the 1962 'Live At The Cafe Montmartre'. 'Development' is probably the wrong word as there is an abrupt change in the music in the Montmartre set from the earlier music, although it is heralded to some extent in the 'Into The Hot' session. In the earlier music Taylor is very dischordant but allows a lot of space so the music is able to breathe. Later, the music becomes almost frenetic, still dischordant, with Taylor scrambling to fill every second, and exhausting to listen to. In his earlier music it has been said that there is influence from Monk. I don't see that. Revolutionary as Monk was, he was firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, including the blues. Taylor isn't. I detect an occasional similarity in his earlier work with the little known Dick Twardzik, and with Dave Brubeck. I can't believe that they were major influences, and it's only a glancing similarity, although I know he has spoken kindly of Brubeck.
There are no sleeve notes and no personnels. It annoys me when record companies don't bother with such things although it doesn't matter much in this case, as the personnels are fairly easy to find.
Disc 1 consists of the entirety of 'Jazz Advance' and 3 tracks from 'At Newport'.The band on both sessions is Taylor, Buell Neidlinger on bass, Denis Charles on drums and Steve Lacy on some tracks on soprano.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By zargb5 on 28 Aug. 2014
Great starting place to explore Cecil Taylor. The first few albums aren't 'out there' but sound a little dissonant, a bit like hearing Monk for the first time. After originally buying "Jazz Advance" i was hooked. Taylor has a unique style and soundworld, you have to acclimatise to the music. Most either get it or don't. Give yourself a chance. Fantastic value set.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. K. Jones on 11 Oct. 2014
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This set belongs in any serious jazz collection. Much of the music is essential. So why only 4 stars? This rating doesn't reflect the music: it refers to the product.

This is what you get:
1. Seriously dangerous music.
2. An "in" to the world of Cecil Taylor.
3. Nine albums for the price of a single budget CD.
4. God-awful packaging. Seriously. I hate these chunky plastic abortions. I thought I'd escape this time as it was a five-CD set, but some genius managed to amend the usual design to include an extra compartment for CD 5. I for one would willingly pay more if meant getting decent packaging, similar to recent box sets of albums by Leonard Cohen, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Joni Mitchell, or Woody Shaw.

This is what you don't get:
1. Decent packaging (see above).
2. Recording dates and venues.
3. Personnel. Coltrane plays on one of the albums. Fortunately, today we have the internet so it's not difficult to find this info, but talk about spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar.

To sum up: Until something better comes along, buy this.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. I. Longstaff on 16 Aug. 2014
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Amazing value for money for this jazz pianist.
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