Cecil Taylor Panel Discussion


On April 6, 1964, a panel discussion – one of the final events of a “Jazz Weekend” – took place at Bennington College in Bennington, VT.  This series of events also included a performance by the Cecil Taylor Unit (for this performance: Cecil Taylor on piano, Henry Grimes on bass, Andrew Cyrille on percussion [reportedly his second ever date with the Unit], and Jimmy Lyons on alto saxophone) and possibly a solo piano performance by Taylor.  Those appearing on the panel were Louis Calabro (Bennington faculty member and composer), Frederick Koenig as moderator, Hall Overton, and Cecil Taylor.  Other comments were made by members of the audience.  This is a transcript from a tape of the discussion which was recorded over music played the previous evening.  Wherever “[MUSIC]” appears, a tape malfunction caused the previous evening’s music to drown out the discussion.

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Taylor:  Hall, may I ask you a question?  I don’t understand your statement.  What was actually done on “Intuition”?  It was recorded in 1949…

Overton:  Yes, ’49, somewhere around there.  You know the record, yes.  This was a very free improvisation, I think, in which someone started out with an idea, someone else followed in with it, and whether you think of it as successful or not, that’s not really important.  It was an attempt.  The first attempt, I think, to break away from the theme-variation form.

Taylor:  And the fact that it was done, completed.  It was an idea started and that’s what music is, partly, ideas.  It’s just a manner of the organization of the idea.  For instance, before Lennie Tristano when it was done, Duke Ellington had a concept of an idea – and he put this idea in a musical form, a musical shape.

Overton:  What was the difference between what Duke and what Lennie did?  Duke wrote it out, didn’t he?

Taylor:  Oh…That’s another problem.  What difference does that make?  The only thing that we know about – the only thing that the listener knows about – is the sounds that he hears.  I don’t think it makes any difference that the sound is notated because the symbol doesn’t make the music.  It is the men striking the instruments, striking the pieces of wood or whatever.  It’s the sound that we’re confronted with, not the symbol.  Because in other cultures they don’t use our symbols, but they make music, they make sounds.

Overton:  I would disagree on that one point because I would make a distinction, Cecil, between an idea that’s improvised and that just occurs at the moment, and an idea that is already arrived at, preconceived.

Taylor:  How can an idea come, you know, into being without certain things happening?  I mean, if you write a composition – all the great composers that you were talking about which happened to be in a particular school – all the great composers have been improvisors…

Overton:  That’s right.

Taylor:  Now, the only difference is that certain people wish to notate their improvisations.  That’s all.  And other people improvise – now what does that mean?  It simply means that these people who choose to improvise utilize certain physical things in their characteristics and and transpose them to the instruments and, after a certain amount of years, these things take shape in a form…Like the Charlie Parker expression.  He uses certain material, certain forms if you will, and he brings these to like his improvisations.

Overton:  Well, Hadyn used to improvise every morning, I read in a book someplace.  I wasn’t there, I don’t know, but I understand that he did and then in the afternoon he composed…

Taylor:  Do you make a distinction between composition and improvisation?

Overton:  That’s right.  That’s exactly the point I want to make.  I think that the music he wrote in the after noon was stimulating [sic] by his improvisation in the morning – but I think that it was better music because it was reflective and he spent time on it and he also undoubtedly changed things that he never would have changed if he just improvised them.  And he had time to change them.  He used more than his intuition in the afternoon – he used his mind and he used intellectual conscious control over his material and that’s what I think a composition is, and I believe that improvisation is just the opposite.  I believe a truly improvised thing is a truly intuitive thing – a thing of the moment and undoubtedly conditioned by, you know, what you were saying before about your whole background.  How you think about your condition – you are going to get certain ideas because of what you are and how you are going to think.  But in real improvisation you don’t have time to polish those ideas – they come at the moment – they are what they are and that’s it because…

Taylor:  That’s what we are and all we can ever be: what we are at the moment.  Even if we reflect upon that which we have done in the morning, when we write in the afternoon that’s all we are – what we are at the moment.  The sum total of the existence is like what it is up to the point that you die – that’s all.  So that if a cat chooses to improvise, which is, you know, a technical mastery of certain materials put in the framework of certain forms.  And we are talking about jazz, so we’ll talk about its first form which is the Blues.  You cannot tell me – you’ll have to prove it to me – that, when after twenty years of playing, that Charlie Parker didn’t play the Blues as many different ways as was possible within his experience.  And if he had sat down to write this it wouldn’t have been any more valid, because, in the final analysis, what we heard was what we heard..[Overton tries to speak, Taylor goes on.] Just a minute, just a minute, what you are negating there is that there is skill in improvisation.  What you’re negating is that – wait a minute, wait a minute.  Polish, you used the work polish before.  When one sites down to compose one…it’s sort of like a spiritual – this is Sunday – a spiritual thing.  You know, you sit down and you start writing and you become reflective and your mind works.  But whoever told you that in order to play the piano, or in order to do anything, you don’t use your mind?

Overton:  Nobody told me.  I play the piano so I know what you’re talking about.

Taylor:  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Now let’s get into this further.  You talk about jazz community, you know, and I want you to define what you mean by community and how it actually works in, you know…like, for instance, what do you do?

Overton:  By jazz community I mean the fact that…

Taylor:  Perhaps before we go any further, we better define what jazz is.

Overton:  No, I’m not going to get into that…


Taylor:  Why not?  Why not?  How can we talk about the future of something that we can’t even define?  What are we talking about?

Overton:  Let me define jazz community.  You have to be able to play jazz with someone else.  Well if you have four people, that’s a community.  If you have three…

Taylor:  Well, Haydn played with somebody too.  Was he playing jazz?

Overton:  No, he played by himself.

Taylor:  No, no, no – his chamber work, you know, and his symphony, you know.  People played together, does that mean it’s jazz because they played together?

Overton:  The idea of a jazz community is that jazz is really based on more than one person playing together, and you have to be able to say, and you have to be able to agree musically.

Taylor:  Well what is this thing you’re calling jazz?  That’s what I want to know first and now let’s get that that [sic] before we start talking about…

Overton:  I think that would be stupid to get into.  We could spend all day – you have your ideas, I have mine…

Taylor:  Well that’s what we’re here for, to express ideas, isn’t it?

Overton:  No, I’ve been on panels like that and it’s the most useless thing that I’ve ever…

Taylor:  Well what are we doing now but talking about ideas?  You mean you’re expressing what you think is stupid.  You see, so that’s an idea, that’s an opinion.


Koenig:  Lou’s getting restless and I think it’s his turn ‘cause he hasn’t said anything.

Calabro:  I agree with Cecil very much about this idea of the immediacy which is the most important aspect of any temporal art.  One doesn’t really care what, how you rehearse and all that kind of stuff.  They care about what’s happening right at the moment.  Well, we’d like to make some kind of defense for notation which I happen to…

Taylor:  Why is it necessary to defend notation?

Calabro:  Well, because in a way you’re slighting it.  I think…

Taylor:  I don’t feel slighted because from what I understand [Anna] Sokolow talked about improvisation as if it were an unskilled something or other.  Like, you know, you pick notes out of the air.  I don’t need to feel defensive about what I know to be a reality and a truth and that is a spiritually beautiful and moves people all over the world.  Why do you have to defend your Western concept of notation?

Calabro:  I was going to talk about the fact that it is a Western concept…

Taylor:  Ah, and the West is embattled now, isn’t it?

Calabro:  …and is also a very developmental type thing.  I think…

Taylor:  Developmental?  What do you mean by that?

Calabro:  Well now look, you can’t get me on that.

Taylor:  I’m not trying to get you.  I am trying to find out about what you’re talking about.

Calabro:  The idea that in Western culture we are concerned with developmental music – whether this is good or bad I don’t know.  The thing is, when you’re in a system that depends completely on rote, I think that that system of music becomes extremely limited.  I’m thinking of music that I happen to be very…

Taylor:  You mean you don’t think Western music is limited.  All right, so OK, tell me something that doesn’t have limits.  The idea, what we’re trying to do, is to like go push beyond those limits.  Whatever you do, you can’t tell me…

Calabro:  I think that one has more of a chance of success if you have a command of notation.

Taylor:  Why, fine, OK, that’s your opinion.  But what I want to get at is why is it so difficult for you to comprehend the idea if people spend all, the same creative energy that you take to notate and these people, other people decide that they’re actually going to play…Why is it so difficult for you to accept the validity of like the fact that they are practicing, if you will, like the improvisation.  So that when they get up on the stand they no longer have to practice.  They play.  They play what they feel – they play what they are at the moment.

Calabro:  Who’s objecting to that?

Overton:  No one disagrees with that, no one disagrees with that, Cecil.

Calabro:  Who are you fighting?

Taylor:  I’m not fighting anyone.  I don’t feel the need to fight.  I just want to get, you know, certain clarities.


Overton:  The fact that improvisation is here to stay…

Calabro:  You sound so angry about it that…

Taylor:  Ah ah ah – there’s the word.  Angry.  I sound angry.


Koenig:  Are we all happy again?  Peace.

Taylor:  Wait a minute.  If I am angry, I wonder if there’s just reason for my anger.

Overton:  Nobody disagrees with you on this point.

Taylor:  For instance you’ve implied that I might be stupid by asking you like to define what jazz was – and yet you use the term community…

Overton:  I don’t want to spend my time…

Taylor:  I agree with you.  You don’t want to spend that time.  You have that prerogative, you know, and also that license, but, unfortunately, me, you know, in my entirety, living in America, I don't have the same kind of licenses that you have so I have to know, like, as much as the history books allow…and they don’t allow me to know too much.  Fortunately, there is a thing – folklore – so there are certain things I know about my historical predecessors, if you will, that is not written in history books.  Like um gee – I can’t exactly say that my great great great great grandfather was George Washington…

Calabro:  I can’t either.

 [Laughter and applause]

Taylor:  Well, of course you can’t because probably you didn’t come here until after George Washington.  But some of my ancestors were here before George Washington got here – that’s the difference between us.  Now the things is that in this community the realities are that jazz comes out of a particular community.  Jazz begins in the Negro community.  Now I don’t know what that word Negro means but you all know – like a certain economically and socially…[Laughter] Up until recently, education wasn’t allowed in certain places.  Now however, it [MUSIC] began, we will say, when the slaves were brought here.  And they had their shouts.  And they had their work songs.  Then all of a sudden their women were taken.  And their women were raped.  And so instead of my name being X, it’s Taylor…

Koenig:  OK, buddy.

Taylor:  Wait a minute, I’m not finished yet…

Overton:  I want to get back to Lennie Tristano.

Taylor:  I’ll get back to Lennie Tristano.  I know as much about Lennie Tristano as Overton.  The only thing, I don’t talk to Lennie Tristano – who reads the Journal American.  And when I went to his studio he wasn’t very polite to me…

Koenig:  I’ve never talked to him, but I’m kind of interested…

Taylor:  How could I talk to a person who wasn’t very polite to me when I came as his guest, you see…Now, after the rapes, scenes changed.  People went to Chicago, people went to other places.  That’s why the integration movement is so funny – like you can’t look at me and see that I’m not integrated.  Anyway, my name is Taylor: Scotch, English as well as African, as well as Indian and all that.  However, I do live in a particular community and I am subject to certain things that Mr. Hall Overton doesn’t have to concern himself with.  And all the people that have created the most moving jazz – most moving in the sense that if they had not lived, the Lennie Tristano that this gentleman talks about would not have existed.  You see, about Lennie Tristano – there was nothing particularly unique about the concept of Lennie Tristano when you really look at it harmonically and in terms of its organization.  It was based on several of the things that jazz is.  Rhythmically, the Tristano concept was based on Mr. Count Basie’s conception of swing.  And today Mr. Tristano still hasn’t solved the problem.  He still can’t find a drummer, he still can’t find a bass player, you know.  That’s all right, but Powell solved the problem and so did Tatum before him.  And the reasons are, what jazz is is simply an expression.  It’s an American expression because the so-called Negro is American.  But it is his feeling, it is the feeling that he has brought to the Western concept of music – you know, there are only so many notes.  But it is his feeling which can be traced back to the shouts, the work songs.  And when it came into the metropolitan and the industrial areas it began to mirror that.  It began to mirror, with certain advantages that were slowly, of course – but you know, like there's a Negro ballplayer now, a rookie, for instance.  He’s breaking in on some team and you know, they’re still calling this cat nigger, you know, in 1964 – the way they called Jackie Robinson nigger in 1946.  Isn’t that funny?  But anyway…

Man [from audience]:  You say that jazz is Negro music and the white man can’t play it…

Taylor:  Oh that’s a defense, baby.  How can I say that when Toshiko [Akiyoshi], a Japanese woman, you know, played all Horace Silver’s things, you know.  How can I say that like – one time when I was in Europe a lot of funny things happened.  People responded to it.  People were playing it.  People were imitating physically the movements of Bud Powell you know, and Charlie Parker.

Overton:  How about Jack Teagarden?

Taylor:  I am saying that it is an expression of the Negro’s existence and his feeling about what America is.  I am saying what white musicians do is simply to imitate that feeling.  I am saying that’s all right, but I think we must understand where it begins and where it comes from and it comes from like the Negro’s existence.  Now why do I say this?  Simply because let’s not fool ourselves you know – we’re up here at Bennington.  It’s lovely and it’s isolated but the problem is [TAPE BREAKS]…the social and economic conditions and just talk about music and imaginary communities.

Woman [from audience]:  Can you make a statement about the future of jazz?  I mean as the Negro community in your eyes – where changes all become integrated into the society.  Then what will happen to jazz if the impetus is taken away from you?  What is going to happen?

Taylor:  That’s a good question.  The only problem is that I am already saved, that I am integrated, I am integrated and it’s your problem, it’s not my problem.  Because I exist – I know what I am supposed not to know.  Everything that exists in America art-wise is for me to get what I can get out of it and to bring it to that mode of expression that is most pertinent to my existence which happens to be what some people call jazz.  But there is not going to be any change, because you can’t see that I’m integrated.  You can’t recognize that like as a human being my father took home, we’ll say, $3500 a year and your father took home $5800 and I’m saying that economic difference, that, that creates, that, that meant a completely different world.  And one things I haven’t talked about which is very important is why is it that in the subculture that the so-called Negro has, that when he takes the initiative either as Southern students have done or as the jazzmen have been doing, that everyone gets alarmed.  We have Polish folk music, we have Jewish folk music, we have, you know, Balinesian folk music.  No one is upset about that.  What is it that you want now that you didn’t want before?  What has all of a sudden become so important now that you wished to ignore before?  I think you have to ask that question.  I think you have to bend aside, you know, to see me just as a man and let me have the cultural things that I don’t deny you to have.  Let me have…[MUSIC]…it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.  They exist simultaneously together.  The only time that – really, you know, integration is like for people to just recognize that they are people and they have culturally, historically, certain preferences, certain habits.  It doesn’t mean that they are better or worse, that they are less or more.  Why deny them?  Now, Africa is your problem because the white people have been the ones who have been exploiting and tearing down and killing and before them it was some other people, you know.  So like it’s your guilt and it’s your problem to have to work out, but don’t deny me what is mine.  And I am not denying what is yours.  I’m saying that there is one advantage that one has in being a so-called Negro: that if one gets out of the gutter, one can see everything from different points of view; one can assimilate everything because one knows what one is – which, up until recently, has not been interesting.  I’m saying that people who are enmeshed in situations of subjugation and have to live, have to find ways to project their dignity as human beings – in spite of all the efforts of those around them to degrade them – I’m saying that this music is the manifestation of the dignity in the life that has always been present.  And it has always been present in any art:  the joy, the sorrow…[MUSIC]

Overton:  …you said I couldn’t possibly feel what you feel.  You don’t understand my background.  You assume you understand me.  I’d like to just bring out the fact that I have very close relationships with Negro musicians.

Taylor:  Well wait a minute.  Let’s get into that, let’s get into that – your relationships.

LeRoi Jones [from audience]:  [inaudible]

Overton:  LeRoi, did you see the TV show…How about channel 13?  Did you see the shows I had last summer?  Were they all white?  [Jones still talking.]  Yeah, I know, let me stick to your point.  Well all right were there all white faces there?  How many white faces?  One white.  There was five shows and it was shown three different times during the summer, LeRoi.  Let’s stick to your point.  Yes, there was one white man and five Negro bands performing.

Jones [from audience]:  I’m talking about lives, not just performers.  We see your soap operas all day.

Overton:  You’re assuming again…like because I’m white, I’m a soap opera.

Taylor:  The answer is LeRoi, the answer is LeRoi, it was his program and the creators of the music were put in the role of performers on his program…that’s all.  Well, why wasn’t it Thelonious Monk’s program?  The man you had such close association with, the man who really created the jazz music that you were presenting, you see.  Now Roi brought up a great point.  If you want to talk about images, you see, there is no Negro image.  Like not even in the world of entertainment.  They laud Sammy Davis and they laud Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne, but boy you never see them on any regularly sustained program on TV because they’re just not good enough…

Calabro:  Can we take it for granted that it’s a terrible situation and all that…

Taylor:  Well yes, you can take it for granted ‘cause you don’t have to live in it, but I have to live in it.

Calabro:  This is getting to be a little too much of a sob story.  I have a worse background than you have…[MUSIC]

Taylor:  You’re more angry than anyone else.  I’m just stating what happened.

Bernard Malamud [from audience]:  We’re human beings, too.  Why make enemies of us?

Taylor:  That is your choice, wait a minute my friend, that is your choice.  You use the word enemy, which like means something to you.  All I’m saying is for you to understand what I’m talking about, all I’m saying for you do to is to face these facts that exist.  And like you don’t have to accept them but at least analyze, at least hear me without getting emotional and telling me I’m sobbing.  When I play the piano this afternoon we’ll see who sobs then, you see, and we’ll see who walks away.

Mrs. Calabro [from audience]:  [inaudible]

Taylor:  Of course it’s music, yes.  I’m not interested in becoming integrated on the terms that are currently in vogue.  I want to know who I am and what I am and that historical books do not tell you so you cannot know that.

 [Noise and confusion]

Taylor:  You have to begin; you don’t want to know that?  Well you have that luxury my dear.  I don’t have that luxury.

Saul Maloff [from audience]:  In the course of getting to the question, let me say that you distorted Mr. Overton's point.  He was not denying the truth of the oppression of the Negro people in this country when he made his limited observation.  Let me ask you a question.  Do you concede that it may be theoretically possible that by a tremendous act of the sympathetic imagination I could, in some way, come close to understanding the plight of the Negro people?  Mr. Taylor, I grant that you are able to do that about the holocaust of the six million Jews.  Why can’t you allow me the same token?


Taylor:  I’LL TELL YOU WHY, I’LL TELL YOU WHY.  Because…I’ll tell you why, I’ll tell you why…Although the Jews say that their home is in Israel, Israel isn’t Africa.  Just let me finish…I’LL TELL YOU WHY, I’LL TELL YOU WHY.  The Jews in America are white, they say, and they can change their noses or their names at any moment’s discretion.  I can’t, I can’t and that’s the difference.

Maloff:  I choose not to pass, I choose not to…


Taylor:  My friend, listen.  That is no justification for what happens to me in America – what happened to the six million Jews in Germany – that’s no justification…What are you saying?

Maloff:  Shall I restate the question?

Taylor:  Do, If you feel the necessity.


Taylor:  They are human beings.  There are certain things that are true of all human beings, but I am saying that there is a blind in America…

Maloff:  Granted.

Taylor:  Granted?  You grant so easily…[MUSIC and general confusion]…You grant so easily but you feel nothing except like the plight of the six million Jews.  When I stand here and say that there are certain things I want clarified, the first reaction is hostility, the first reaction is a feeling of guilt.  And why is it guilt, what’s bothering you?  I’m not going to lynch you, I’m not going to kill you and I’m not going to brainwash you.  I’m going to ask you to accept me on MY TERMS, on my terms.  I’m asking you to accept me on my terms because I am standing and I have experienced certain things that I want to be evaluated on historical facts, and I say as long as history books in America don’t give us that historical fact…You use the word theoretical – and it is not a matter of theory.  My life is a matter of being of  really, of, of, of, existence.  I have to put up with your magnanimous nature.  Why can’t I grant you what you are granting me?  Nothing is granted me, nothing is granted me.  The only thing is granted me is that which I work for – and they don’t grant me, I take it, I make it.  That’s the whole point: the jazz musician has taken Western music and made of it what he wanted to make of it.

 [Confusion in audience, MUSIC]

Taylor:  That’s your privilege, your problem, as you will.


Koenig:  Would you say there is a difference between composing, improvising, and writing things down from experience?


Koenig:  I think there is technically one thing moved in on that makes jazz different.  You don’t have to write it down because you can keep it on recordings and the same applies that you can preserve and keep the feeling of improvisation – which makes it a very special thing of creativity as compared with what it takes to jell the thoughts when you put them down on paper.  Do you have a question?


Calabro:  I think it’s a misnomer to say the shape of things to come, the shape of jazz to come.  You can’t really talk about any art in terms of “this is the way it is going to be”  …Cliché things like “it’s probably going to be non-harmonic” – what does that really mean?  What I’m more concerned about rather than the shape of jazz, is the shape of the world…

Taylor:  We can’t possibly know for sure.  The question is one of what you’re like going to do with the material.

Calabro:  Well, jazz can be just traced beautifully from just the economic point of view.  When Storyville closed down, this kind of thing…


Taylor:  Martin [Williams] talked about theme and variation; what you’re talking about is not a sonata allegro form which happens to be a European concept organization of music.  Exposition, development, recapitulation – and that’s what’s happening.  Now I think the things that determine what ever form you use are things that happen so that on its most advanced level Webern saw the necessity of condensing that idea into perhaps four minutes, five minutes.  The whole point about the sonata allegro form – the a, b, a – is that it’s a 19th century concept, you know.  Now we are in jazz – we take certain, you know, technical devices and create a kind of [MUSIC]…where four players improvise but that’s not the entire music…[MUSIC]…theme, improvisation and return to the theme.  OK that’s a…Then you get a person like Ornette Coleman that does not improvise on thirds, fourths, melodic fragments of ideas.  He uses the, for instance, percussion and the rhythm in ways that perhaps have not been used before.  The 1, 2, 3, 4, we now know, we don’t know that anymore.  So that now what we do, we can hear that in our minds.  We can dance that, we can sing that.  The idea is, knowing that, to think other things and still have that, and retain that, and go on and create other things, other rhythms…In other words, we’re no longer thinking in terms of thirds, we’re thinking in terms of all combinations of notes – whether they be seconds, groups of seconds, groups of fourths, groups of fifths, or just a-musical sounds.  Like this [bangs on table –] perhaps making that music.

Calabro:  I would like to say that I think this concept – to people somewhat familiar with the history of jazz – is about forty years old.  People who have been involved in serious music have been fooling around with this for a very long time.  And it’s just, really, beginning to seep into jazz.  The thing about a guy like Coleman is that his concept of form is extremely simple, where very oftentimes…[MUSIC]…play some kind of riffs together and then go off on a long improvisation and then maybe come back to give it some kind of semblance of a form.  Sometimes it’s successful and sometimes I don’t think it is.  I think what is an important point to talk about in jazz is whether or not jazz can really be free.  Now, I’m thinking of Double Octet, a recording of Ornette Coleman’s which is supposed to be completely free jazz…

Taylor:  Well, may I answer the question?…You see you can’t help it.  You just can’t help it.  Now, in serious music, he says.  Ah, you mean I’m not serious…

Calabro:  There’s no other name, there’s no other name.

Taylor:  You mean Ornette isn’t serious in what he’s doing?  What do you mean?  What do you mean?  But, however, if you want to talk about free…

Calabro:  What do you call it?

Taylor:  What do you mean free?  What do you mean?  What do you…Serious music, serious music?  Well you made that distinction.  You said in serious music we have been doing certain things for forty years.

Calabro:  There’s no other name.

Mrs. Calabro [from audience]:  It’s a semantic problem, I think another name should be coined for it.

 [Confusion in audience]

Taylor:  It’s a semantic problem, it’s a semantic problem, is that what you’re saying, my dear?  It’s a semantic problem which manifests certain social concepts.  Don’t you understand, don’t you understand the colored person in America has always been an entertainer?

Mrs. Calabro:  You were saying something very good before and…

Taylor:  Well, I’m glad you liked it, my dear.  Just a minute, just a minute [Noise in audience] I’m still talking, if you’ll let me finish.  The point is this: that colored people have been entertainers, colored people, when they went South…[MUSIC] Did you know that they were like the foremost exponents of English, Irish, and Scotch brogue?  [MUSIC]  That they could do all those kind of comedy things?

Mrs. Calabro:  [inaudible]

Taylor:  Well you want to hear that.  You want me to do what you want me to do.  And I’m saying I want to do what I want to do and I want to say what I want to say.

Mrs. Calabro:  You can’t do everything and neither can I…

Taylor:  But I am up here and you are down there and that is the difference.  And like you are going to hear me or not, as you please.  And it doesn’t really matter that much to me one way or the other.  But like, now, about the serious music and the forty years and the heritage…Once again you can’t – well, why, why did it take forty years for it like to get into jazz please?  No, if, if, for instance there were not certain social and economic, educational, prohibitive factors, perhaps it would have gotten there sooner.  Maybe it wouldn’t have taken forty years.  But the beautiful thing about all of this is that it is here, now.  And that it is here and it manifests itself in quite different way that Webern because it comes from a different cultural impetus than what…It comes out of America, out of like the situations that we find ourselves in in America.  The unfortunate thing about all of this is that Americans don’t even know who they are or what they are.  They don’t even know their own culture.  [MUSIC] We are the inheritors of all the great civilizations before us – and we are just building on them, that’s all.  We’re doing our job.  What I’m saying is: let me do my job, but don’t shackle me with your social and your thought prejudices by saying things are semantic – when they are really socially-oriented.

Mrs. Calabro:  What I mean is serious as opposed to pop music or folk music.

Man [from audience]:  Why serious music?

Calabro:  That happens to be the name – just like this is called a CARRIAGE BARN.  Oh, for God’s sake, why make such a fuss about it?

 [Confusion and shouting in the audience]

Koenig:  Let’s have a discussion without shouting here or there.  OK, now, let’s get back to the questions again…