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Separate Keyboards

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Album Review

For this CD (put out by the Japanese Denon label), there are six selections apiece from pianists Erroll Garner and Billy Taylor. The Garner titles (which are also available elsewhere) are rhapsodic ballads that are both melodic and whimsical. The Taylor sides include the four songs that he cut at his very first session as a leader (March 20, 1945) plus two cuts made with a quintet (comprised of tenor saxophonist Jon Hardee, organist Milt Page, bassist John Simmons and drummer Shadow Wilson) in 1949. Despite the brief playing time (just 36 minutes) and lazy packaging (which includes three major misspellings on the back cover), the music is enjoyable and worth picking up if it can be found at a budget price.


Born: 24 July 1921 in Greenville, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Billy Taylor was such an articulate spokesman for jazz, and his profiles on CBS' Sunday Morning television program (where he was a regular beginning in 1981) were so successful at introducing jazz to a wider audience, that sometimes one could forget what a talented pianist he was for over half a century. While not an innovator, Taylor was flexible enough to play swing, bop, and more advanced styles while always retaining his own musical personality. After graduating from Virginia State College in...
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Separate Keyboards, Billy Taylor
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