Artist: Cecil Taylor
Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz
Cecil Taylor’s second LP doesn’t have the immediacy of his debut, but it does carry the same amount of intensity. Looking Ahead! is pretty self-explanatory. And self-fulfilling. Yet in relation to the pianist’s usual extremist tendencies, Looking Ahead! is surprisingly accessible.
Along with Buell Neidlinger on bass, Denis Charles on drums and, most important of all, Earl Griffith on vibraphones, Taylor brilliantly toes the line between traditional and the avant-garde. Each song is successful because it never commits to one or the other — Looking Ahead! is a seamless combination of hard bop and experimental jazz.
Only Cecil Taylor can create a sound quite like this. It might not be Nefertiti or Unit Structures; nonetheless, Looking Ahead! is a worthy addition to any jazz collection.