Personnel includes: Cecil Taylor (piano); Buell Neidlinger (acoustic bass); Dennis Charles, Billy Higgins (drums).
This 1961 recording features a variety of ensembles based around Cecil Taylor and bassist Buell Neidlinger. Drummer Billy Higgins joins Taylor and Neidlinger on "O.P.," a tribute to Oscar Pettiford that is driven by an insistent bassline and Taylor's inimitable working of what is essentially a blues form.
"Cell Walk for Celeste," a jagged yet intricately orchestrated Taylor composition, features Archie Shepp on tenor sax, while Dennis Charles replaces Higgins on drums. "Cindy's Main Mood" is a Taylor/Neidlinger/Higgins trio improvisation. The disc finishes with an Ellington tune, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," performed by an octet featuring Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, and Clark Terry, among others. NEW YORK CITY R&B is an excellent starting point for those unfamiliar with Taylor's music. The set showcases Taylor's talent for reworking standards while representing the more challenging directions he would take later in the '60s.