Cecil Taylor and the Italian Instabile Orchestra The Owner of the River Bank

Throw Cecil Taylor’s new disc with the Italian Instabile Orchestra into your computer and up pops Internet links to the label and band’s websites plus a video of the musicians in performance. Taylor stands stage left at the piano directing the ensemble and occasionally pounding on the keys. The camera pans across the room bringing the rest of the 18-piece band into view as they ease into a sweet thunderous sound — the strings are closest in proximity to Taylor, followed by a battery of horns and percussion, with pianist Umberto Petrin book-ending the group stage right. The visual footage serves as an introduction to what will transpire on The Owner of the River Bank. The new hour-long CD documents the first time Taylor, one of jazz music’s great iconoclasts, got together with the Italian improvisers in September of 2000 — since then they have performed together several times. Reportedly on the first day of rehearsals Taylor, always the shaman/trickster, drew the Instabile crew straight into the deep end without learning first if they could swim. He handed out pages of cryptic notation with little explanation of the conceptual framework — everything generates out of the moment as a continual work-in-progress. Marcelo Lorrai in the liner notes says that Taylor represents an anarchic leadership "in the highest, noblest sense.” Different rivers flow through the music with actual ownership long forgotten. The possessor possesses nothing. Instabile trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini will perform in a duo with bassist/electronics Walter Prati at this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival. (Enja)