Take Five With Steve Taylor

AAJ Staff By

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Steve TaylorI knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I made my own drums out of school books and biscuit tins.

Your sound and approach to music:

Precise, beautiful, powerful, positive, fun, humorous, exciting.

Your teaching approach:

It's a voyage of self discovery;

I help with the technical, theoretical stuff;

Developing the artist within.

Your dream band:

My big band and my world fusion project the world runners; combining the two could be an alternative dream.

Anecdote from the road:

"Without them ladies and gentlemen....
I'll be just as successful as I am with 'em...."

— Buddy Rich introducing his band

Favorite venue:

Spice of Life in London, England.

Promoter Paul Pace is the main man.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Can't answer this....like being asked to like one of your children more than another.

They're all stepping stones...to where I'm not sure.

Did you know...

I used to be champion child tap dancer and a vegetarian.

How do you use the internet to help your career?

As a shop window, a form of self-broadcasting and advertising, plus a simple method to sell my music while I'm asleep.

CDs you are listening to now:

Buddy Rich, Mercy, Mercy (EMI);

The World Runners, Phonetic (i2i music);

Gorden Goodwin, Gordon Goodwin's The Phat Pack (Immergent);

Pat Metheny Group, Still Life (Talking) (Geffen/Nonesuch);

Al Jarreau, Tenderness (WEA).

Desert Island picks:

Buddy Rich, Mercy, Mercy (EMI);

The World Runners, Phonetic (i2i music).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Diverse, mainly retro, in need of modernization.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Talent, taste and desire. Don't play a solo unless it feels right.

What is in the near future?

Currently promoting To Buddy Rich & Beyond, a new DVD/CD package recently filmed in London. This project combines classic Rich arrangements of West Side Story and Love for Sale alongside fresh new charts. Buddy hated nostalgia, so this keeps the quality alive while reaching for new inspiration very much in the spirit of Buddy.

My other main project features Scottish singer Josie Frater in a world fusion project, The World Runners—a new album due out later in 2009. This is all original material—think Pat Metheny meets Joni Mitchell in a contemporary world jazz fusion setting. Very melodic and exciting world beats.

By Day:

I balance playing, touring, teaching and producing.

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