- Released: August 20, 1990
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: OJC
Down Beat - 5/92, p.384.5 Stars
- Very Good Plus - "..A relaxed, slightly reserved Taylor emerges here, full of flame but more than ever investigating a kind of majesty, grandeur, lyricism, and elegance.."
Vibe - 10/95, p.142
"...one of the most revolutionary jazz piano records in the music's history....Taylor plays with more ensemble concern and camaraderie than we find later in his career..."
- 1.Luyah! The Glorious Step
- 2.African Violets
- 3.Of What
- 6.Excursion On A Wobbly Rail
Cecil Taylor Quartet: Cecil Taylor (piano); Earl Griffith (vibraphone); Buell Neidlinger (bass); Dennis Charles (drums).
Recorded at Nola's Penthouse Studios, New York, New York on June 9, 1958. Originally releasaed on Contemporary (7562). Includes original release liner notes by Nat Hentoff.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
LOOKING features Cecil Taylor on solo piano.
Personnel: Cecil Taylor (piano); Earl Griffith (vibraphone); Denis Charles (drums).
Liner Note Author: Nat Hentoff.
Recording information: Nola's Penthouse Studios, New York, NY.
LOOKING AHEAD is pianist Cecil Taylor's second studio album. It was recorded in 1958, when Taylor was already a controversial figure on the jazz scene. His first album, the brilliant JAZZ ADVANCE, was released in 1956 and introduced alto saxophonist Steve Lacy. On this recording, it is Earl Griffith (vibraphone) who makes the fourth member of a quartet that includes Taylor, Dennis Charles (drums) and Buell Neidlinger (bass).
JAZZ ADVANCE had its roots in Monk and Ellington, and Taylor strained against those influences. Here, all the compositions are his own, and his playing is less referential, more aggressive. Charles and Neidlinger are forced to play more on top of the beat. Earl Griffith's clean, clear tone lends the recording an austere quality, but his composition "African Violets" is lush, deeply melancholy. Cecil plays a solo that contains radical holes, creating pure, activated spaces. Dennis Charles uses those spaces to shape his drum solo, and it sounds like he's accompanying the air. "Toll" is in 3 parts, and the two written sections introduce many of the elemental riffs that Taylor would develop over the next 35 years. Although clearly transitional, it is nevertheless an exciting album.