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Musician

Billy Taylor

Born:

Billy Taylor encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures. The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spans nearly six decades. He has also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, including "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras. Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street

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Article: Interview

Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker

Read "Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker" reviewed by Scott Gudell


The dynamic big bands of the 1920s-1940s were led by charismatic and confident kings of swing including Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb and Gene Krupa. Smooth and sophisticated dance sounds could easily cross pollinate with other styles including the syncopated rhythms bubbling up from the streets of Harlem such as 'Swing Street.' Beyond a lineup ...

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Article: Year in Review

2021: The Year in Jazz

Read "2021: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The jazz world continued grappling and adjusting in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Jazz Day again went virtual for the most part. Singer Tony Bennett put the final stamp on his touring--and likely recording--career after his Alzheimer's disclosure. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was headed to federal prison. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four ...

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Article: Album Review

Houston Person: Live in Paris

Read "Live in Paris" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The greatest jazz musicians have one trait in common; they make everything sound so ridiculously easy that listeners are liable to lose sight of the blood, sweat and tears which brought them to that pinnacle. Tenor saxophonist Houston Person, an octogenarian who keeps sidestepping every obstacle including Father Time, is one such master; regardless of groove ...

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Article: Profile

Erroll Garner: 100th Birthday Anniversary Of The Immortal Swinging Maestro Of Jazz Piano

Read "Erroll Garner: 100th Birthday Anniversary Of The Immortal Swinging Maestro Of Jazz Piano" reviewed by Doug Hall


The hundredth birthday of the legendary and brilliant virtuoso Erroll Garner is being marked by tributes including The Erroll Garner Project, which has released additional recordings and a remastering of existing recordings by the swing maestro of jazz piano. His popularity as an in-demand international performer and his landmark record Concert by the Sea (Columbia, 1955) ...

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Article: AAJ PRO

Jazz vs. Classical Funding

Read "Jazz vs. Classical Funding" reviewed by Nicholas Krolak


Throughout jazz history there has been a desire among the jazz community to see the music respected on the same level as western classical music. It is after all, jazz is America's classical music. As Dr. Billy Taylor explains, “Classical music must be time-tested; it must serve as a standard or model; it must have established ...

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Article: Album Review

Jeremy Monteiro, Jay Anderson, Lewis Nash: Live At No Black Tie

Read "Live At No Black Tie" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Forty-five albums in as many years represents remarkable consistency from pianist Jeremy Monteiro—Singapore's King of Swing. It is worth recounting that Monteiro has played with the likes of Charlie Haden, Benny Golson, Toots Thielemans, Cassandra Wilson, both Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker, James Moody, Eldee Young and, for over thirty years, with Ernie Watts. Oh yes, ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Returned to Forever: The Chick Corea's Songbook, Part 2

Read "Returned to Forever: The Chick Corea's Songbook, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


We continue our journey through the Chick Corea Songbook (part 1). For decades he was one of the contemporary ambassadors of American jazz, inspiring fans and other musicians all over the world. In this part of the programme, we'll feature renditions of his work by musicians from abroad and from the USA, and from across musical ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Christian Sands, Gary Burton, Chris Cheek and More

Read "Christian Sands, Gary Burton, Chris Cheek and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino


The young and electric pianist Christian Sands opens this week's edition of Neon Jazz. During the rest of the show we showcases new albums by Ricardo Grilli, Homero Alvarez and Dafnis Prieto. The talents of veteran cats is also included with the likes of Gary Burton, Edward Simon and Chris Cheek. Enjoy the show!


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