A tribute to the retiring Dr. Billy Taylor, Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center documents the artist's performance career at the Kennedy Center and presents him in the context he loved beston stage and sharing his love of jazz by not only performing his own music, but also bringing to the audience some of jazz's greatest contemporary voices.
Culled from several years' worth of live recordings at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, the album presents nine tracks, each an original composition by Taylor. All feature his longstanding trio partners, drummer Winard Harper and bassist Chip Jackson, and many bring to the stage a combination of guest artists who blend their own distinct voices with the trio.
As generous on stage as off, Taylor provides ample space for such distinguished players as Arturo Sandoval, Terrance Blanchard, Stanley Turrentine, Steve Turre, and Russell Malone to showcase their many talents, and on each track Harper and Jackson deliver in their own inimitable style.
A fitting tribute to one of jazz's greatest educators, advocates, and master pianists, Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center is an important album both for its musical content and as an historical documentation of Taylor's final recording period.
Track Listing: 1. Birdwatcher; 2. If You Really Are Concerned; 3. Diz; 4. Theodora; 5. Suite for Jazz Piano and
Orchestra; 6. A Bientot; 7. Titoro; 8. Easy Walker; 9. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free.
Personnel: Billy Taylor: Piano;
Winard Harper: Drums;
Chip Jackson: Bass.
Special Guests: Terence Blanchard, Stanley Turrentine, Russell Malone, Stefon Harris, Dee Dee
Bridgewater, Cyrus Chestnut, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Turre.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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