Enter the eclectic and enigmatic world of American free jazz pioneer Cecil Taylor in Christopher Felver’s 2006 documentary film All the Notes. An intimate and unfiltered portrait of one of the geniuses of 20th century jazz.
At 75 years old, few individuals cut such an energetic and arresting figure as Cecil Taylor. Gesticulating animatedly in front of the camera, he delivers personal anecdotes and self-authored aphorisms with the whimsical conviction of a man accustomed to shocking his audiences out of their comfort zones. This has been quite literally his life’s work: with his percussive piano technique, his use of polyrhythms and tone-clusters, his self-composed scores that resemble complicated mathematical equations, Cecil Taylor has pushed the boundaries from the edge jazz’s avant-garde since the 1950s, and his larger-than-life personality seems to be a reflection of his years of unconventional music-making.
Photographer, book author, and filmmaker Christopher Felver has already made numerous films documenting radical artists of all genres, and as the director of All the Notes, he deftly weaves together interviews, archival concert footage, and the artist's straight-to-the-camera soliloquies. We are left with a fascinating film portrait of an enigmatic artist at the height of his powers.