[JPL] Cecil Taylor, All the Notes (2004 documentary)

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 11 14:06:15 EST 2011

Lazaro, the version Lena is singing of "A Sleepin Bee" is from her "Being Myself" release...which was one of her final recordings...if not her last. Check this YouTube clip of the track...
It's interesting in that the ear is so conditioned to hearing harmony in conventional structures. Ninety something percent of anyone who plays western music hears, plays and writes it this way. Think about someone with perfect pitch...which is usually centered around A440. They don't hear the Ab a quarter tone sharp or flat. That comes from our western tonal center and is beaten into our brain cracks. Some other places might have it at A445. Scales or Ragas in India are structured and sound differently...etc. So when a musician from the states ulitlizes harmony outside of conventional interpretation...as Cecil does...it makes it a challenge to listen to him because how are flabbers are conditioned. While a Bb remains a Bb in his music it's that notes relationship to others in space and time that separates what he's doing from most others. That was one of the most interesting things about this doc...to hear him explain why and how he chose to think
 out of the box...against convention musical wisdom I will add. That takes a lot of courage but it reflects a musician so deeply connected to his art that it's about as pure of a connection that I've seen or heard. Doesn't matter if I like it or not...I appreciate his process for getting there. 

Jae Sinnett  

From: Lazaro Vega <wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com>
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 8:30 AM
Subject: Re: [JPL] Cecil Taylor, All the Notes (2004 documentary)

Glad you watched it, Jae. Was talking via Facebook with trumpeter
Stephen Haynes about that Iridium rehearsal -- because in the film the
way Taylor points out the lines and scales to the band seemed like an
instant orchestration, which seemed to organize a setting for him to
blow over. I found that insightful. Stephen mentioned that the
process, minus the cameras, is usually a bit more mysterious, that the
melodic fragments are not assigned to any particular instruments or

In any case, it was interesting to hear him develop his own scale
vocabulary and then take it through it's paces on his home piano. In a
solo concert of his at Orchestra Hall in Chicago tat I caught several
years ago that sort of development was in play all night long,
including a few absolutely beautiful slow pieces -- so you could hear
the material he was working off from, but it was slow enough to
process it. By the time he ramped the tempo way the forte up there was
a lot of information sort of embedded in the ear already that made it
possible to more easily enter into and commune with the swirl.

By the way, do you know what Lena Horne with organ record that was
that he was dancing to in the living room?


Jazz, which comes to you in the best of taste, from Blue Lake.


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