Jul 24, 2011
Today would have been the 90th birthday of Dr. Billy Taylor, one of jazz's great pianoplayers, educators and ambassadors.He died in December 2010.
I attended a tribute to Dr. Taylor earlier this week at the University of Massachusett's Jazz in July program, one of the many educational programs Dr. Taylor helped to establish. Present for the tribtue was Brett Primack, aka The Jazz Video Guy, who has produced a one hour documentary on Dr. Taylor. An excerpt from that film can be seen here.
Taylor was one of the last musicians to bridge the period from the rise of bebop in the early 1940's, through the heady days of the civil rights movement in the 1960's and beyond. His contirbutions - muscially and personally - will be sorely missed.
Here's a live recording of Dr. T from 1967 will his trio, Ben Tucker on bass and Grady Tate on drums, playing "T.N.T.". It was released as part of I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free, titled after his greatest and best known composition.