Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Dr. Billy Taylor honored in an all-star concert
In an extensive essay Wells Tower celebrates the 85 year old pianist Billy Taylor who was honored during an all star concert with 32 jazz legends at Kennedy Center ( Washington Post Magazine ), among them Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Ahmad Jamal, Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard and Ornette Coleman. Next to Duke Ellington, Taylor is Washington's second-most prominent contribution to jazz, writes Tower, yet you can't find his albums at the local CD shop. Five years ago he suffered a stroke temporarily crippling his left hand. He practiced and seems restored close to the fullness of his powers. Tower tells the life story of the musician who holds a doctoral degree and is widely known within the jazz world as "Dr. Billy Taylor". Many people only know him for his involvement in jazz community affairs, Jazzmobile for instance, a mobile stage he organized in the 70s to bring live music to neighborhoods in Harlem and the Bronx. Over the years he accepted the fact that he never became as widely known as a musician.