Unit Structures

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Unit Structures
Cecil Taylor-Unit Structures (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Cecil Taylor
Released 1966
Recorded May 19, 1966
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Genre Free jazz
Length 46:27
Label Blue Note
Producer Alfred Lion
Cecil Taylor chronology
Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come
(1962)Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come1962
Unit Structures
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz 4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 5/5 stars[3]

Unit Structures is a 1966 album by free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor released by Blue Note Records. Unusually, Taylor's group features two bassists, one (Alan Silva) playing mostly with a bow, and the other (Henry Grimes) playing mostly pizzicato.


The Allmusic Review by Scott Yanow states "Taylor's high-energy atonalism fit in well with the free jazz of the period but he was actually leading the way rather than being part of a movement... In fact, it could be safely argued that no jazz music of the era approached the ferocity and intensity of Cecil Taylor's".[4] The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded it four and a half stars, writing "Unit Structures is both as mathematically complex as its title suggests and as rich in colour and sound as the ensemble proposes, with the orchestrally varied sounds of the two bassists — Grimes a strong, elemental driving force, Silva tonally fugitive and mysterious — while Stevens and McIntyre add other hues and Lyons improvises with and against them."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions written by Cecil Taylor.

  1. "Steps" – 10:20
  2. "Enter, Evening" – 11:06
  3. "Enter, Evening [alternate take]" – 10:11 Bonus track on CD release
  4. "Unit Structure/As of a Now/Section" – 17:47
  5. "Tales (8 Whisps)" – 7:14
  • Recorded at Englewood Cliffs NJ, May 19, 1966



  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ a b Richard Cook and Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 7th ed. (Penguin, 2004).
  3. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 189. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  4. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed 10 July 2009