Fearless keyboardist Craig Taborn, prolific on acoustic piano as well as electric pianos and synthesizers, has a gift: making experimental improvisation immediately enjoyable. For this, he has long backed many of the most forward-thinking improvisers on the planet, including James Carter, Tim Berne, Chris Potter and Dave Douglas.
He's so in-demand that he rarely gets the chance to perform as a leader of his own bands, despite a series of critically acclaimed recordings under his own name. Thursday presented a chance for him to demonstrate to a U.S. audience his compositional vision. As part of the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York, he presented four new, yet untitled works with a new quintet at the Jazz Gallery, the intimate Manhattan venue where he had often appeared — but never under his own name.
WBGO and NPR Music hosted a live webcast of the Craig Taborn quintet online on this page. A downloadable recording is available above.