In the 1980s, Mr. Taylor was unwillingly outed as gay by critic Stanley Crouch.

“Do you think a three-letter word defines the complexity of my humanity?”

Mr. Taylor later said.

He had no immediate survivors.

In 2013, he received the Kyoto Prize, a $500,000 award from Japan for cultural achievement. He continued to perform as ­recently as 2016.

When asked to explain the nature of his thorny music, Mr. Taylor often turned silent, saying only that the music spoke for itself.

“I’m in a state of trance when I play,”

he told the New Yorker. “Playing is not a question of energy. It’s spiritual transfiguration. If playing were merely physicality, I’d be a basketball player or a miler.”

source: Matt Schudel for Washington Post

Cecil Taylor, pianist, 1929-2018