The Tree of Life dates from a 1991 Berlin concert during which Cecil plays unaccompanied. Tree consists of five sections, ranging from 1:08 to 44:28 in length, and ranks among Cecil’s more impressive albums. One of the most important and original of jazz pianists, he can be counted on to play inventively, but at times his solos have been unvaryingly frenetic. Here his work is full of contrast. Both pensive and aggressive improvising can be heard, as well as plenty of dynamic and textural variety and effective register contrasts. There’s thorny lyricism here, and Taylor uses rests effectively.
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