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The pianist and keyboards player Craig Taborn once estimated that he was a member of "15 to 20" working bands. That says something about how much fellow musicians value his playing; it also says something about his versatility. He's as likely to be playing free improvisation as straight-ahead jazz, as adept at electric piano funk as electro-acoustic sound collage. He's not much for labels, which can work to his advantage; his album of solo piano improvisations, Avenging Angel, won lots of plaudits from jazz critics last year.

Few of those 15 to 20 bands bear his name, though, which makes it a treat to see him at the Village Vanguard atop the marquee. He brought a bassist and drummer, as on his first two albums — and his next, to be recorded this summer. In an abstract set draped with generously warm flourishes, WBGO and NPR Music presented a live radio broadcast and video webcast of the Craig Taborn Trio, live at the Village Vanguard.

Set List

All compositions by Craig Taborn.

  • "American Landscape"
  • "Chorales" [working title]
  • "Gal 1" [working title]
  • "Light Made Lighter"
  • "Naelan"
Personnel
  • Craig Taborn, piano
  • Thomas Morgan, bass
  • Gerald Cleaver, drums
Credits

Producer And Host: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes. Recorded April 4, 2012 at The Village Vanguard in New York, N.Y.

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