From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1968[1]
RecordedOctober 6, 1966
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
GenreFree jazz
LabelBlue Note
ProducerAlfred Lion
Cecil Taylor chronology
Unit Structures
Student Studies
Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[4]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[5]

Conquistador! is a 1968 studio album recorded in 1966 by free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, released by Blue Note Records.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Writing for AllMusic, Scott Yanow gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars, stating that "During the two lengthy pieces, [Jimmy] Lyons' passionate solos contrast with [Bill] Dixon's quieter ruminations while the music in general is unremittingly intense."[3]

The authors of The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded the album 4 stars, calling it "an all but flawless record," and commenting: "Dark, difficult, unique, yet operating at an artful tangent to some of the other 'difficult' Blue Note music of the period, this is Taylor at his most devious."[5]

Writing for Vinyl Me Please, Brian Josephs stated: "Conquistador!... swerves away from Unit Structures' fire and evokes the coolness of its cover, which features a turtlenecked Taylor slightly out of focus, hiding behind shades as he mysteriously stares into the distance. The musical elements don’t combust as much as they melt into each other: Horns swell shrilly at the borders to add haunted textures, while Andrew Cyrille's amorphous rhythms tie the masterwork together. Even without Unit Structures as its contrast, Conquistador! still stands as a great testament to this sui generis collective."[7]

In 2008, The New Yorker placed it at number 87 on the "100 Essential Jazz Albums" list.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Cecil Taylor.

2."With (Exit)"19:20
3."With (Exit) [Alternate Take]" (CD edition bonus track)17:24


Credits adapted from liner notes.


  1. ^ Billboard Mar 9, 1968
  2. ^ Fleming, Colin (October 17, 2004). "Cecil Taylor: Conquistador!". All About Jazz. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Conquistador! - Cecil Taylor". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  4. ^ Swenson, John, ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 189. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  5. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 1381. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  6. ^ Murray, Robin (April 6, 2018). "Free Jazz Innovator Cecil Taylor Has Died". Clash. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  7. ^ Josephs, Brian (September 12, 2018). "A Cecil Taylor Primer". Vinyl Me Please. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  8. ^ Remnick, David (May 19, 2008). "100 Essential Jazz Albums". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2019.

External links[edit]