Taylor, Cecil & Tony Oxley / Ailanthus / Altissima
Album: Ailanthus / Altissima   Collection:Jazz 12"
Artist:Taylor, Cecil & Tony Oxley   Added:Oct 2010
Label:Triple Point  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-10-10 Pull Date: 2010-11-28 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Nov 14 Oct 17
Airplays: 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. May 30, 2022: Begonia Balm
Ailanthus (B1)
3. Oct 14, 2010: orangeasm
Ailanthus (B2), Ailanthus (B1)
2. Nov 11, 2010: Bukkake the Gathering
Ailanthus (A)

Album Review
Reviewed 2010-10-09
CECIL TAYLOR & TONY OXLEY: Ailanthus / Altissima
Triple Point, 2010

AVANT-GARDE – Here’s a real treat: Two vinyl LPs capturing exciting duet work between piano giant Taylor and drum master Oxley, recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 2008 (20 years after their first collaboration). Both musicians sound outstanding here, with plenty of give and take idea-sharing: Taylor avoids the “torrent of notes” approach you might expect at first, instead playing in a broad style that evokes classicism, the blues and even hints of ragtime alongside modern jazz inventions. But before long he’s playing with total abandon. Oxley is all over it from the get-go, seemingly playing his whole kit at once, but in a way that complements Taylor rather than overwhelm. Absolutely smashing work.

This limited edition is irreplaceable. Please treat it gently!!!

Fo’s Picks: Try any. I liked Sides A & C best.


- Piano & drums step carefully around each other in spare melodicism
- Grows spikier, knottier as it goes: piano seems to pull in from everywhere, drums enfold it in constantly-shifting percussive sheets.
- Halfway through it’s aggressive & very free
- Builds up to smashing piano, noisy drums, then a roller coaster of notes pelted by rhythmic boulders
- Calms back down for the last couple of minutes; brooding end


1. 5:02 – stony piano sound, falls into huge, swooping spirals, crushing end

2. 12:36 – moody, piano feels a bit rushed, drums shadow closely; lots of sudden surges separated by gentle drifts and spinning thematic statements


1. 10:37 – dives right in: piano scribbles and hits like a sledgehammer, drums splash and splinter. Second half alternately gentle and spinning.

2. 9:51 – slower, heavy feel, lots of open space; piano/drums tightly woven


1. 12:24 – a spikier take on the ideas from C2; piano tiptoes & thrusts, drums prod urgently; forbidding wall melts into a slush, turns melodic

2. 9:56 – lightly sweeping sound, drums/piano open & balanced, alternates quiet, almost delicate sections with stabbing drives

[ Fo ] 10/09/10

Track Listing
1. Ailanthus (A)   4. Altissima (C1)
2. Ailanthus (B1)   5. Altissima (C2)
3. Ailanthus (B2)   6. Altissima (D1)
  7. Altissima (D2)