The Wire - p.59
"The performance opens with a short burst of Taylor's poetry, which Maneri underpins with lines at once exceptionally beautiful and distressingly melancholic....Taylor's playing throughout the rest of the album is stirring, muscular and mischievous."
Personnel: Cecil Taylor (piano); Mat Maneri (violin).
Liner Note Author: Bill Shoemaker.
Pianist Cecil Taylor, an icon of cutting-edge jazz, shows no signs of mellowing with age. His style remains volcanic and unpredictable, touched by a pensive lyricism that draws upon 20th-century classical music. The Library of Congress commissioned Taylor to write a piece, and ALGONQUIN is the result. A four-part suite that features violinist Matt Maneri, the album belongs to Maneri as much as it does to Taylor.
This is not music for casual listening--the improvisations are percussive, angular, expansive, and passionate, with each musician spurring the other onto greater heights, resulting in surprising moments of understated beauty. Maneri wails and rages, yet his playing also encompasses the expressive depth of a cello and the deep, woody tone of a wind instrument. Taylor lets loose a deluge of spiky, elliptical ideas (recalling the piano works of American composers Charles Ives and George Antheil), but also allows silence to speak for him (as Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk did before him), evoking the strangely peaceful sense of being in the calm at the eye of a hurricane.