Eloquent, affable and a true gentleman. The significance of legendary drummer, composer, bandleader, Art Taylor’s influence and contribution to so so many amazing jazz gems and the sound of the scene itself during, in particular, the 1950’s and 60’s just can not be overstated.
He masterfully kept the time for a who’s who of jazz icons and greats like Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Red Garland, Miles Davis, Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Gigi Gryce and the list really just goes, on and on and on. Even as a kid in Harlem in the area where this interview was recorded, an early band he was a part of consisted of Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, and Jackie McLean. The mark he’d make on the music, needless to say, was inevitable. And with these artists he is on some of the most heralded recordings in the history of the music on storied labels, Bluenote, Prestige and more – Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Miles Davis’s Miles Ahead, The Amazing Bud Powell and Monk’s Town Hall Recordings to name a scant few.