Legendry pianist Cecil Taylor dies at age of 89
The New York native, who lived more than three decades in a brownstone in Brooklyn, died late Thursday, his legal guardian Adam Wilner said without specifying a cause.
Taylor startled the music world in 1956 with his first album “Jazz Advance,” with the pianist wildly sweeping through ostensibly jarring chords and merging clashing rhythms.
With saxophonist Ornette Coleman, who would become his collaborator, Taylor opened the way of free jazz, which removed itself from the structures and toe-tapping rhythms that had underpinned the genre.
“Part of what this music is about is not to be delineated exactly. It’s about magic and capturing spirits,” Taylor once told the jazz writer Nat Hentoff.
Taylor followed up with a well-regarded live album in 1957 recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival.