Cecil Taylor, the pioneering free-jazz pianist, was 89 when he passed away last year on this day, April 5. In his memory, Bay Area poet and jazz singer Lisa B released a single, “Cecil Taylor: I Am an Orchestra,” a few days before the anniversary of his death.
The single pays homage to Taylor and his percussive, improvisational style with free-verse poems, occasional singing, and a diverse cast of musicians including Lisa B’s longtime collaborator, pianist Scott R. Looney.
Taylor’s passing touched Lisa B on both a musical and personal level; he had connected with her family when she was a child after he bought pictures from her photographer father. One of those photographs has now been used as cover artwork for the single.
The new track, out via Piece of Pie Records, is the first to be released from Lisa B’s forthcoming album, Reverberant: Poems & Music, due out in October. Stream, download or share “Cecil Taylor: I Am an Orchestra” on CDBaby, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play or iTunes.
For more on Taylor’s life and music from JazzTimes, see below: