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Music, Hear This Cecil Taylor and Marilyn Crispell: the Key Players

Cecil Taylor and Marilyn Crispell: the Key Players

At 78, Cecil Taylor is the granddaddy of avant-garde jazz piano. He first presented the basic concepts of so-called free improvisation nearly five decades ago by fusing volcanic energy with geometrical symmetry. The pianist bangs out a blur of fleet-fingered…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Despite more than a century of activism for gender equality, master musicians of the "fair sex" continue to be ghettoized. Even in jazz, arguably the most egalitarian of genres, female players tend to get props en masse rather than as…
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Deuces Wild!

If so-called avant-garde jazz doesn't shake listeners with new, unfamiliar structures, it's not doing its job. Contemporary improv can overwhelm novice listeners, especially when it features multiple musicians simultaneously playing multiple leads. These players consciously dodge the well-worn verse-chorus-verse trap.…
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