Archie Shepp on Pianist Cecil Taylor
ON CECIL TAYLOR [:60]
RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT
SHEPP: My background was very traditional and conventional until I met Cecil Taylor in the early 1960s.
NEA JAZZ MASTER ARCHIE SHEPP ON THE FREE-THINKING BRILLIANCE OF PIANIST, CECIL TAYLOR.
SHEPP: I had never really thought that there was an intellectual dimension to so-called jazz music, but I can remember he was talking about his concept of playing the piano. He had studied dance and fencing, things that not many black musicians did.
He said to me, "When I play the piano, I feel like my fingers are dancers on the keys." (fades into Mamas too tight by Archie). I thought, "What an image. It takes you right there, of course. My fingers are dancers on the keys of the saxophone."
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH SAXOPHONIST ARCHIE SHEPP WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
Excerpt of “3 Phasis” composed and performed by Cecil Taylor from the album, 3 Phasis used courtesy of New World Records and by permission of Unit Core Corps [BMI]. Excerpt of “Mamas Too Tight” composed and performed by Archie Shepp, used courtesy of Archieball Music and by permission of Dawn of Freedom.