Reviews that mention Elliott Levin

December 8, 2021

Cecil Taylor

Corbett vs Dempsey CD 077

Cecil Taylor Ensemble


Fundacja Sluchaj FSR 10/2021

Cecil Taylor’s mature pianism was so instantly identifiable that it stood out no matter the context or affiliations. However it was only one part of his presentation, with composition, band leading and verbal poetics part of the package. Characterized by notable playing in both cases, what distinguishes Göttingen (1990) from Corona (1996) is that the former two-CD set has the American pianist and 11 mostly German ensemble interpreting his music, while Corona is a three-part improvisation involving Taylor and Sunny Murray, the drummer in his influential 1960s band. MORE

October 6, 2018

Michael Moss/Accidental Orchestra

4th Stream Records ERG 10013

Extra Large Unit

More Fun, Please

PNL Records PNL040

Two CD variations of how best to perform Jazz compositions-improvisations with very big bands also bring into play questions of proper brevity and length. Featuring 29 Scandinavian musicians who are part of both his large unit plus an ensemble described as Intuitive People, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s More Fun, Please is a 33-minute plus conduction which while integrating solo and group passages references several strands of music to make its points. MORE

August 4, 2003


The Light of Corona
FMP CD 120

Keeping your attention fixated on the centre ring on this three-ring circus performance by a Cecil Taylor nonet is only a little more difficult than usual.

That’s because while the piano-as-ferocious-lion taming act of pianist Taylor is as riveting as always, distractions abound. There are acrobatic leaps and bounds on show from the horn section and a definite clown act arising from one member of the rhythm section.

The overriding impression you’re left with following this 1986 performance from Berlin however, is how Taylor’s seeming omnipotent power can bend any group of musicians to his will. Also, as with nearly every Taylor production over the past 40 years, the organization and output of the music on the CD are more singular than what you’d find in any other airing by a nine-piece band. MORE