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JAZZ : RETROSPECTIVE : In Brief

*** 1/2 Cecil Taylor, “Jazz Advance,” Blue Note. Taylor’s 1956 debut album offers the pianist’s singular style in the context of spare arrangements rather than the daunting density and intensity of his later ensembles. Taylor was already expanding on jazz traditions with the originals on “Jazz Advance,” but he also proved perfectly at ease playing off the limber swing of bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles (Steve Lacy’s soprano sax is added on two tracks) while interpreting Monk, Ellington and Cole Porter.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic).


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