Cecil Percival Taylor (born March 15, 1929) is a pianist (and poet) now generally acknowledged to be one of the great innovative sources of free jazz (along with the better known Ornette Coleman). His first recording Jazz Advance was released in 1956, and is described by Cook & Morton in the Penguin Guide to Jazz: "While there are still many nods to conventional post-bop form in this set, it already points to the freedoms which the pianist would later immerse himself in".
Taylor is known for being an extremely energetic, physical player, producing exceedingly complex improvised sounds. He's worked with musicians such as the saxophonists Steve Lacy and Archie Shepp and the bassist William Parker. Due to Taylor's unique and personal approach to music, he has rarely recorded as a sideman, preferring to lead his own groups and recording sessions.