Chinampas is a true oddity in avant jazz pianist/poet/dancer Cecil Taylor's voluminous catalog. This is a spoken word record of Taylor reciting his poetry while accompanying himself on timpani, bells, and small percussion. To address what these poems are about is a meaningless endeavor. It would be the same as trying to explain what his piano playing is about. It's all language; it's all music. In fact, these poems, studio recorded beautifully in the fall of 1987, tell the story of Taylor's approach to making music, creating solid matter from thin air, and then -- like the true shaman that he is -- transforming it into sand and blowing it away to make room for something else. Taylor's language is not all private (though some of the sounds executed as words are clearly part of a highly individualized iconography); many of the words and syntactical structures he uses are recognizable as Western in shape and origin. But the manner in which he speaks his lines -- his stutters and slides through syntax - opens onto what poet Charles Olson called the "field of language," an entirely new history coming out of the lines that extends out as far as the poet's breath. And Taylor is making a new history in his poetics: one that comes from pre-Babylonian Egypt and extends into the centuries beyond this one, one that insists in communicating in a language that is only dotted with references to Western culture and its ideologies as a jumping-off point in both directions simultaneously. And to hear the moans, groans, giggles, squeaks, and peeps that come from a master of the trained voice is to hear these sounds -- interspersed as they are with words and phrases and percussive meanderings -- as part of the language we speak (even if we've never heard it before). This is an hourlong record that can not only keep the listener's attention, but can also bring the listener to restful sleep. It is at turns maddening and soothing, and ultimately instructive. In Chinampas (an Aztec word that means "floating garden"), it means that everything is fluid, everything is interconnected, and language -- if it extends itself far enough -- has the power to embrace it all. As an artist Mr. Taylor has gone where few have gone before him, let alone succeeded; this is what he is used to. But he may have surprised even himself in the sheer musicality of his mystical universal tome. ~ Thom Jurek
23755NCecil Taylor - Chinampas (Hot Points) (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/20/5024792015320.jpg?v=818.9815.39USDInStock/Genre/Jazz/Music Categories/Jazz-Instrument-Avant-Garde-DowntownLeo Records UkCDJazzCecil-Taylor2008-12-31
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