“Avenging Angel” is Craig Taborn’s distinguished contribution to the great solo piano tradition at ECM, a powerful, purposeful and rigorous album, which rises to the challenges of the format and transcends them. The disc explores the textural dimensions of sound, builds new structures, uncovers a rugged lyricism. Recorded in the optimal acoustics of the recital room at Lugano’s Studio RSI, with Manfred Eicher producing, it’s Taborn’s first disc under his own name for ECM, following on from inspired sessions with Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, David Torn and Michael Formanek.
A fresh blend of Craig’s pioneering garage sound, RnB and blazing club bangers, this album is a celebration of one of the UK’s most loved artists, back on British soil, and at the helm of his own unique, authentically British sound; a sound that made waves across the globe, making him the voice of one of the most pivotal eras in UK music, and in turn, making him one of the most successful artists in UK chart history.
Released at the beginning of 1978 (recorded August to November 1977), there was one minor change in the Eela Craig lineup. And that was the return of vocalist Wil Orthofer, apparently because the band he was in between his absence with Eela Craig, called Ice Planet (a blues outfit that never recorded, that also featured two other ex-Eela Craig members, Heinz Gerstmair and Horst Waber) broke up due to the deaths from two non-Eela Craig members from two separate automobile accidents. The funk has more or less disappeared, going for a more conventional late '70s symphonic prog rock sound.