- Released: February 14, 1994
- Label: Soul Note Records
Entertainment Weekly - 5/27/94, p.90
"...Because avant-garde piano genius Taylor is one of the most original jazz players, any effort by him compels attention...." Rating: B
Vibe - 8/94, p.108
"...If you want to hear jazz the way they probably swing to it on the rings of Saturn, you need to check in with brother Taylor..."
- 1.B Ee Ba Nganga Ban'a Eee!
- 2.Olu Iwa (Lord of Character)
Cecil Taylor Unit: Cecil Taylor (piano), Peter Brotzmann, Frank Wright (tenor saxophones), Earl McIntyre (trombone), Thurman Barker (marimba, percussion), William Parker (acoustic bass), Steve McCall (drums).
Cecil Taylor Quartet: Cecil Taylor (piano), Thurman Barker (marimba, percussion), William Parker (acoustic bass), Steve McCall (drums).
Recorded live at Academy Of Arts, Berlin, Germany, April 12, 1986. Includes liner notes by Art Lange.
Composer: Cecil Taylor.
Personnel: Cecil Taylor (piano); Peter Br?tzmann (tarogato, tenor saxophone); Frank Wright (tenor saxophone); Earl McIntyre (trombone); Thurman Barker (marimba, percussion); Steve McCall (drums).
Recording information: 04/1986.
Unknown Contributor Role: Peter Br?tzmann.
Recorded live during the "Workshop Freie Musik 1986", in Berlin, "Olu Iwa" documents two performances. The longer piece, "B Ee Ba Nganga Ban'a Eee!," starts off with lush, romantic chords in the piano. The distinctive colors of the ensemble introduce themselves: the marimba (Thurman Barker), the trombone (Earl McIntyre), the saxes (Peter Brotzmann and Frank Wright), the bowed upright bass (William Parker), the drums (Steve McCall). It takes a while for the music (a combination of structures and improvisation) to activate, but activate it does. The band becomes an absurdly coordinated machine, humming and huffing in lopsided, chaotic perfection. The machine propels itself into a section that sounds like terrible duck calls. Then there's a long, trembling exhale.
The shorter piece, "Olu Iwa (Lord of Character) is 27 minutes long. There are no horns here--just Parker, Barker, McCall and Taylor. It can be disappointing to describe the particulars of a Cecil Taylor concert. How do you describe a taste or a color? McCall's drumming is wonderfully subtle. Jimmy Lyons, Taylor's alto sax alter ego is present in his absence (he died a month later). Suffice it to say that this music enters every cell of the listener's body. It's like a dream. Cecil Taylor is after Clarity. He pushes his musicians hard; it's as if he's trying to split something open and see what's inside. Inside is energy.