Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Cecil Taylor: Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come

Originally issued domestically as a double LP on Arista-Freedom, Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come documents a pivotal period in pianist Cecil Taylor’s evolution. Recorded a single night during a seven-week trio stand at Copenhagen’s Cafe Montmartre in late 1962, this two-CD collection-which includes over 20 minutes of material not included on the LPs-is both a culmination of Taylor’s early recastings of blues and song forms, and a preview of his later expansiveness. The album also constitutes an extensive early chapter in the historic partnership between Taylor and alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, which lasted until Lyons’ death in ’86. It also marked the pianist’s last recording with groundbreaking (or glass-breaking) drummer Sunny Murray until ’80’s It Is In The Brewing Luminous (hat ART).

The first disc commences with three performances that are like stripped-down counterparts to the quintet/septet tracks included on Gil Evans’ ’61 Into The Hot (Impulse!). On these pieces, Taylor lays out the materials in concise, moody introductions, Lyons raises the temperature with bluesy, motive-based essays, and both of them bob and keel on Murray’s swirling ametric whitecaps. While Taylor’s pianistic lexicon was expanding beyond even such early triumphs as the ’60-’61 Candid dates, he still anchored these compositions with relatively conventional ballad structures (“Call”) and chord patterns (“Lena”).

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published