[Marxism] Godd memorial for jazz/music giant Cecil Taylor

Greg McDonald gregmc59 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 8 16:16:26 MDT 2018


“I was fortunate enough to have a few memorable encounters with Cecil
Taylor, and each time I was struck by his tremendous energy, and the sheer
power of his personality--it was like a force field that enveloped you. In
the late 90's, when I was working at the Knitting Factory on Leonard street
with Àdouble Poisse, late one night we ended up at a bar on 2nd ave in the
Village. The place was pretty empty. At a table just behind us, Cecil was
sitting by himself. "Is that Cecil?" We decided it was and felt we had to
say *something*, so we politely offered a hello and thanks for the music,
etc. To our surprise, Cecil invited us to join him at his table, and for
the next few hours we had drinks and sat spellbound, while Cecil talked
with us, about Duke Ellington (he really emphasized Duke), and his mother;
about musicians, and music. It felt like a conversational version of his
playing; discursive, probing, intelligent, at times almost overwhelming.

Years later, I wanted to invite Cecil to present a master class here at The
New School, and Andrew Cyrille graciously arranged an introduction. I was
told to call late in the afternoon, and after a few misses, finally heard
Cecil's unforgettable voice on the line. As before, our conversation was
anything but mundane, and it continued for nearly an hour. We spoke again
by phone at least three or four times, and each time it was the same. I
couldn't quite believe that I was able to simply call him up--THE Cecil
Taylor, for chrissake!--and talk, but he was always charming, candid, and
voluble. Ultimately, he agreed to do the master class, but had to cancel at
the last minute due to illness. His passing feels like the end of an era
when giants roamed the earth. God speed, Mr. Taylor.“

A fb friend



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