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Music Keeps Us Young

Billy Taylor Trio

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Album Review

It is extremely difficult to believe that Billy Taylor was 76 at the time of this frequently lively recording. For the trio set with bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Steve Johnson, Taylor performs five originals and six jazz standards with creativity and swing. The repertoire (which has among its highlights "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," and a 10 1/2-minute exploration of "Body and Soul," "Naima," Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring," and the pianist's most famous composition, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free") is generally boppish, spontaneous and quite accessible, mixing together medium-tempo romps with ballads. Although always a bit underrated as a pianist, the seemingly ageless Taylor had by 1996 been recording for over 52 years!

Biography

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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Music Keeps Us Young, Billy Taylor Trio
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