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Billy Taylor

Billy Taylor was such an articulate spokesman for jazz, and his profiles on CBS' Sunday Morning television program (where he was a regular beginning in 1981) were so successful at introducing jazz to a wider audience, that sometimes one could forget what a talented pianist he was for over half a century. While not an innovator, Taylor was flexible enough to play swing, bop, and more advanced styles while always retaining his own musical personality. After graduating from Virginia State College in 1942, he moved to New York and played with such major musicians as Ben Webster, Eddie South, Stuff Smith (with whom he recorded in 1944), and Slam Stewart, among others. In 1951, he was the house pianist at Birdland and soon afterward Taylor formed his first of many trios. He helped found the Jazzmobile in 1965; in 1969 he became the first black band director for a network television series (The David Frost Show); in 1975 he earned his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts; and he both founded and served as director for the popular radio program Jazz Alive. But despite his activities in jazz education, Taylor was rarely absent from performances and recordings, always keeping his bop-based style consistently swinging and fresh. He died of heart failure in New York on December 28, 2010, at the age of 89. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Chronological 1952-1953

1. Lady Bird

2. I'm Beginning To See The Light

3. All The Things You Are

4. Laura

5. What Is This Thing Called Love?

6. They Can't Take That Away From Me

7. All Too Soon

8. Accent On Youth

9. Give Me A Simple Life

10. Little Girl Blue

11. The Man With A Horn

12. Let's Get Away From It All

13. Lover Pt. 1

14. Lover Pt. 2

15. I Love To Mambo

16. Candido

17. Early Morning Mambo

18. Mambo Azul

19. Cool And Caressing

20. Who Can I Turn To?

21. My One And Only Love

x

Track List: Chronological Classics: Billy Taylor 1950-1952

1. All Ears

2. My Heart Stood Still

3. Darn That Dream

4. Double Duty

5. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

6. Thou Swell

7. Good Groove

8. Somebody Loves Me

9. Willow Weep For Me

10. If I Had You

11. The Very Thought Of You

12. What Is There To Say

13. The Cuban Caper

14. Cu-Blue

15. Squeeze Me

16. Feeling Frisky

17. Cuban Nightingale

18. Titoro (Titora)

19. Makin' Whoopee

20. Moonlight Savings Time

21. Three Little Words

22. Oscar Rides Again

x

Track List: Ten Fingers - One Voice

1. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

2. In A Sentimental Mood

3. Joy Spring

4. Laura

5. Easy Like

6. Night And Day

7. Can You Tell By Looking At Me?

8. Early Bird

9. Tea For Two

10. Solo

11. My Heart Stood Still

Comments

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billy taylor was like a holy man in new york. so glowing nice positive humble friendly to everyone and ego-less.
and played delightfully . you couldn't have a bad concert with him around.
and he was adored.
Report as inappropriate
Quite a talent...gre a t !
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A real gentleman and gifted player....
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gypsyme3
Chocolate chip station
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joy.leverett
Lwd
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I'm kidding the sky isn't falling but the spiders are AHHHHHHHHHHH H H H H H H H H H
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AHHHHHHHHHHH H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H the sky is falling with spiders run for your lifeeeeeeeee e e AHHHHHHHHHHH H H H H H H H H J H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
Report as inappropriate
yoadrianyoja n i c e 1
Report as inappropriate
ceyman
no one like him!
Report as inappropriate
A great great great pianist and genius. Heard him live and he could play pieces and improvise like few others. Disagree with the writer, he was one of the few true innovators of jazz piano.
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Sweet, sublime and perfect...
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Will miss him dearly
Report as inappropriate
There's a reason they call him the professor... . . w e l l , cause he is! Caught him three years back at the Vancouver "Lark in the Park"...ahhh , summertime.
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Dr. Billy Taylor, mestre jazz piano, ontem hoje é sempre, muita qualidade musical, obrigado Billy.
Report as inappropriate
mooyoo.77
r.i p. billy you brought a lot of joy to my young life, as well as now

THANKS BILLY
Report as inappropriate
Billy Taylor has been dead only a month, and I'm impressed how quickly his bio was updated. Good work, Scott Yanow.
Report as inappropriate
Doctor Billy Taylor - a scholar and a gentleman. Oh yeah, and one hell of a musician and teacher! BF.
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dan.hutzley
Another jazz great has passed. Both his musical ability and as a dedicated spokesperson for jazz will be missed.
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llnstoner
I listened to him in the 60s on WNEW in NY city. He only gets better!
Report as inappropriate
Brilliant...
Report as inappropriate
Billy Taylor taught a History of Jazz class I took for several semesters at CW Post College/LIU in the mid '70's. I'd arrive early to watch him play before class & always got a seat at the end of the piano. The highlight of my day. Great man...great soul....grea t talent.
Report as inappropriate
great pianist, listened to his jazz alive program all the time .
Report as inappropriate
nice change of pace....

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