• Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cecil Taylor have something in common

    March 29, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    © Stephanie Berger 2009
    © Stephanie Berger 2009

    They've played New York within ten days of one another. First at Zankel at Carnegie, Dee Dee was part of the Jessye Norman Honor Festival. Pianist Edsel Gomez brought a new percussion section, so music from DD's Red Earth album shifted from a Malian jam to a Latin feast and it worked. She loves rhythm! She and Edsel have written a new song about people on the street who need help, how it feels to be asked. The song was so simple, and the sense of it keeps coming back as the scenario plays out, over and over.

    Cecil Taylor is turning 80. The second half of his solo birthday concert at Merkin Hall last night was the piano half (the first half was a reading). He originates his music, in clusters and waves, playing mirror images, tumbling on the keys, what a sound he can make. Toward the end, for a moment, I felt the hall fill with conversation and laughter. And yet the audience wasn't making a sound, it was all his piano, it was quite a moment!