Craig Taborn – Shadow Plays (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Craig Taborn – Shadow Plays (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:15:39 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM

On his first solo piano masterpiece, 2011’s Avenging Angel, Craig Taborn added his voice to the proud ECM tradition of keyboard greats, a list that includes Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Paul Bley and especially Keith Jarrett. As a sideman with saxophonists James Carter and Chris Potter, a skilled player and composer of electronic music, and later a contributor in a variety of contexts led by jazz notables such as Paul Motian, Dave Holland and Bill Frisell, the Minnesota-born Taborn has fashioned one of the most spiritually rewarding and musically adventurous careers in jazz today. Besides his ability to contribute in various musical milieus, Taborn has two extra special musical talents: he’s a master at the stiff, difficult (but wonderfully distinct) Fender Rhodes and he’s an enormously talented free improviser who can sit at the piano and spontaneously create entire concerts such as Shadow Plays using tones, textures and his own seemingly limitless imagination to revel in kaleidoscopic discovery on solo piano. Produced by ECM’s visionary founder Manfred Eicher and exquisitely recorded live at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Shadow Plays is the opposite of a passive listen. The ear is immediately drawn in by the profound silences and chiming single notes of “Bird Templars” and held rapt throughout these seven longish tracks by the ingenuity and prowess of Taborn’s stream of consciousness creativity. Rarely has one man on one instrument produced this many sounds, this many ideas, tempos, echoes, sustained notes and multi-colored moods in a single program of recordings. Having stated in interviews that he’s interested in trying to “extend boundaries” and how as an improviser he’s both “creating and observing at the same time,” he launches into the exuberant opening of “Conspiracy of Things,” resorting to showers of single notes, repeated figures that rise and fall in volume, and dramatic strokes across the keyboard. And as a player who says he’s interested in the avant-garde but yet likes to “swing,” Tarborn manages in pieces here like the title track to create a precise intellectual exercise that is somehow also deeply personal, frenetically percussive and thoughtfully subtle. This is jazz in only the faintest of outlines. An acquired taste to be sure, Taborn’s very individualistic shaping and invention of music is full of wit, wisdom and erudition: by any other name genius! – Robert Baird

1. Craig Taborn – Bird Templars (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
2. Craig Taborn – Discordia Concors (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
3. Craig Taborn – Conspiracy Of Things (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
4. Craig Taborn – Concordia Discors (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
5. Craig Taborn – A Code With Spells (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
6. Craig Taborn – Shadow Play (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)
7. Craig Taborn – Now In Hope (Live at Konzerthaus, Wien / 2020)