Prolific debauchery & plenty of it! an edgy, intemperate leviathan casting a pall of threat as well as riotous wonder & technical brilliance Cecil Taylor’s splendour trails for fuckin’ decades & frequently clambers to unimaginable alcoves. so’ so much could be drafted, but this review will concentrate on the Nuits De La Fondation Maeght trilogy recordings (captured during live group performances in France in 1969), which for me has so far been his best work from a particularly enigmatic period. Taylor was playing sprawling immeasurably intense reckless refulgence & asymmetrical avant wizardry with the insane Andrew Cyrille, for me indubitably one of the most fantastic & original drummers ever. out of the many things that could be said, I would emphasise that Taylor & his unit redefined the elongated-outburst & prolonged-peaking coming with ceaseless surging’s of unparalleled clamour & volatility. frequently without intervals, extenuation or cessation they would dance an immensely detailed & dynamic squall within the singularity of remorseless & unforgiving outermost, fully-cyclic, hell-for-leather frenzy. a heteronomous hurricane & blitzing blizzard of ebullient fulmination Cyrille was able to maintain physically these momentous requirements but also inflect with a cycle of extensive improvisational embellishment & continually capricious contrasting.
Taylor’s closest adjutant saxophonist Jimmy Lyon’s would also duck in & out with sax screel & hysteria. these Olympic stints of decadent comminute went way beyond the threshold, agreeable limitation or somatic restriction that pretty much everybody else was on, with an unapologetic & frankly extremist activity/ideology of severe surplus pandemonium & improvident forceful action whilst exercising immense technical credibility. many a marvel of withering extravagance was being exercised by other legends during this great era, but this lot did it, to my knowledge, longer & harder without intermission including mostly for each individual musician (consecutive group participation), never slacking & all exploding into one sustained shock-wave of terrific turbulence. these recordings though, do offer the secondary function of a more Avant-Garde slower & emotionally alternate medium occasionally with vocal extracts from Taylor. they are stunning diverse & intricate but also often bizarre. this is another phenomenon of Cecil Taylor & much of his music, lyrics & imagery. it’s dark, I would say at times even quite minatory. much of the furore from the depths of Free Jazz’s sonic battle field encompassed anger, madness & intensity are as a commodity, but Taylor as with Sunny Murray often depicts & conjures stuff that I would not feel at error calling nasty, dark, or threatening in a direct & mostly unequivocal manner. It is not malefacient (I don’t think?) but for me tones of hazard, tragedy & outright tenebrous madness etc are very apparent (hell, it could be just my misinterpretation, but I feel these elements skulk within his work amongst other sentiments & energies of a far more positive distinction). this is another specialist feature of Taylor & contributes even more to his significant idiosyncrasy. anyway, as for this mind-blowingly marvellous 3LP set released by Shandar, there is another foreign element/irregularity that kicked shit completely into hyper-space. on these recordings they threw fucking Sam Rivers into the mix! can you imagine? as if things were not preposterous enough, the absolute madman Rivers was air-dropped into the vortex with his tenor & soprano cannons. the results are just ridiculous & why these recordings are amongst the most precious & heavily rotated in my stash. unfortunately, to my knowledge, no further foray frenzy was created with Rivers after this tour. thank the goddess that someone was recording & captured this brain scattering murrain so expertly & issued it in this cult vinyl trilogy. shamefully these recordings have not been reissued on CD/vinyl or even MP3 download. utterly absurd. there was two editions pressed… Shandar in France did th initial set, then licensed it to Prestige in the US that did a single triple LP box set. both have cult design. perhaps inspired by the ultra unapologetix of the music, the Shandar versions considerable liner notations are all in François only without translation. for the authentic hunters, the Shandar edition seems to be more ubiquitous but generally goes for more money. all the LP’s are brilliant but I favour Vol.2 most, a detailed analysis of Vol.2 follows & a rip of side A (of Vol.2) has also been uploaded.