At age 72, Cecil Payne makes a recorded comeback with this release. He sounds in fine form, playing with dexterity, clarity, and depth on baritone sax, and brings out his flute for two of the eight cuts. Six of the eight selections are his compositions. A mixed-generation band has old hands John Ore (bass) and the great Harold Mabern (piano) teamed with younger men Eric Alexander (tenor sax) and Joe Farnsworth (drums). Guest trumpeters Freddie Hubbard or Dr. Odies Williams III get cameos. As expected, this is a hard bop date, reflective of Payne's history with Dizzy Gillespie, J.J. Johnson, Tadd Dameron, and James Moody.
Iconoclastic satirist John Waters bites the hand that (periodically) feeds him in this humorous look at the underside of the film industry. Self-styled guerrilla filmmaker Cecil (Stephen Dorff) leads a Baltimore movie-making collective/street gang called the Sprocket Holes, which includes Cecil's girlfriend and frequent leading lady, a low-rent porn actress named Cherish Oh Lordy (Alicia Witt). Desperate for attention, they kidnap famous Hollywood actress Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) during a Baltimore publicity stop and force her at gunpoint to star in their latest production, Raving Beauty. Before long, Honey comes down with a severe case of Stockholm syndrome and joins the Sprocket Holes in their bid to destroy the mainstream film industry. Waters regulars Ricki Lake, Patty Hearst, and Mink Stole highlight the supporting cast, and techno star Moby contributes to the soundtrack.
Pianist Cecil Gant seemingly materialized out of the wartime mist to create one of the most enduring blues ballads of the 1940s. Gant was past age 30 when he burst onto the scene in a most unusual way — he popped up in military uniform at a Los Angeles war-bonds rally sponsored by the Treasury Department. Private Gant proceeded to electrify the assembled multitude with his piano prowess, leading to his imminent 1944 debut on Oakland's Gilt-Edge Records: the mellow pop-slanted ballad "I Wonder," which topped the R&B charts despite a wartime shellac shortage that hit tiny independent companies like Gilt-Edge particularly hard. Its flip, the considerably more animated "Cecil's Boogie," was a hit in its own right…..
Dark to Themselves is a continuous 61-plus-minute performance by pianist Cecil Taylor and his 1976 quintet (which also includes such fiery players as trumpeter Raphe Malik, his longtime altoist Jimmy Lyons, tenor saxophonist David S. Ware, and drummer Marc Edwards). There is a quick theme along with brief transitions that form the composition "Streams and Chorus of Seed," but the bulk of the passionate performance is taken up by spontaneous and intense solos. Listeners with very open ears, and longtime fans of Taylor's, can consider this explosive performance essential.
This summit recording by pianist John Hicks, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Cecil McBee might not always hit the heights, but it still impresses with a fine repertoire and quality playing. John Coltrane's "Cousin Mary" kicks things off with Hicks and Jones matching the vigorous interplay the drummer and pianist McCoy Tyner plied so well in Coltrane's classic quartet, while a faithful reading of the tenor giant's airy ballad "After the Rain" is also included.