Discography

 

Billy Taylor Piano - Savoy MC 9035

Billy Taylor – Piano
Al Hall – Bass
Jimmy Crawford – Drums

March 20, 1945

Mad Monk
Alexander’s Ragtime Band

Billy Taylor 1945-1949 – Classics 1137

Billy Taylor – Piano
Ted Sturgis – Bass
Buford Oliver – Drums

December 4, 1946

The Very Thought of You
Strollin’ Down The Champs-Elysees

Billy Taylor – Piano
John Levy – Bass
John Collins – Guitar
Denzel Best – Drums

June, 1947

Well Taylored
Twinkle Toes
I Don’t Ask Questions

Billy Taylor – Piano
Herman Mitchell – Guitar
John Levy – Bass
Denzel Best – Drums

September 26, 1947

Mitch’s Pitch
Mr. B Bops
Strollin’ Down The Champs-Elysees

Billy Taylor Piano – Savoy MG 9035

Billy Taylor – Piano
Milt Page – Organ
John Simmons – Bass
John Hardee – Tenor
Shadow Wilson – Drums

November 20, 1949

Misty Morning blues
The Bug
Take the A Train
Prelude to A Kiss

Piano Panorama - Atlantic 113

John Collins - Guitar
Al Hall - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano
Shadow Wilson - Drums

Recorded February 20, 1951

Jazz Live at Storyville - Roost 406

Charles Mingus - Bass
Marquis Foster - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded October, 1952

1. Lady Bird
2. I'm Beginning to See the Light (Ellington/George/Hodges/James)
3. All the Things You Are (Hammerstein/Kern)
4. Laura (Mercer/Raksin)
5. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter)

Billy Taylor Trio - Prestige 24154

Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded November 18, 1952 - December 29, 1953

1. They Can't Take That Away from Me (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 3:02
2. All Too Soon (Ellington/Sigman) - 2:50
3. Accent on Youth (Lawnhurst/Seymour) - 3:03
4. Give Me the Simple Life (Bloom/Ruby) - 2:52
5. Little Girl Blue (Hart/Rodgers) - 4:29
6. Man With a Horn (DeLange/Jenney/Lake) - 3:17
7. Let's Get Away from It All (Adair/Dennis) - 2:21
8. Lover (Hart/Rodgers) - 4:48
9. Cool and Caressing (Taylor) - 3:21
10. Who Can I Turn Too? (Engvick/Wilder) - 3:22
11. My One and Only Love (Mellin/Wood) - 3:15
12. Tenderly (Gross/Lawrence) - 3:17
13. I've Got the World on a String (Arlen/Koehler) - 2:59
14. Bird Watcher (Taylor) - 2:56
15. B.T.'s D.T.'s (Taylor) - 5:01
16. Hey Lock (Davis) - 5:18
17. That's All (Brandt/Haymes) - 3:05
18. The Little Things That Mean So Much (Adamson/Wilson) - 3:07
19. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 3:08
20. The Surrey With the Fringe on Top (Hammerstein/Rodgers) - 2:54

Billy Taylor Trio, Volume. 2 - Prestige PRLP-165

Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded December 10, 1952 and November 2, 1953

1. The Man With a Horn
2. Let's Get Away from It All (Adair/Dennis)
3. Who Can I Turn To?
4. My One and Only Love (Mellin/Wood)
5. B.T.'s D.T.'s (Taylor)
6. Hey Lock (Davis)

Billy Taylor Trio - Prestige 24154
  1. They Can't Take That Away from Me(Gershwin/Gershwin) listen
  2. All Too Soon (Ellington/Sigman) listen
  3. Accent on Youth (Lawnhurst/Seymour) listen
  4. Give Me the Simple Life (Bloom/Ruby) listen
  5. Little Girl Blue (Hart/Rodgers) listen
  6. Man With a Horn (DeLange/Jenney/Lake)
  7. Let's Get Away from It All (Adair/Dennis)
  8. Lover (Hart/Rodgers)
  9. and Caressing (Taylor)
  10. Who Can I Turn Too? (Engvick/Wilder)
  11. My One and Only Love (Mellin/Wood)
  12. Tenderly (Gross/Lawrence)
  13. I've Got the World on a String (Arlen/Koehler)
  14. Bird Watcher (Taylor)
  15. B.T.'s D.T.'s (Taylor)
  16. Hey Lock (Davis)
  17. That's All (Brandt/Haymes)
  18. The Little Things That Mean So Much (Adamson/Wilson)
  19. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Gershwin/Gershwin)
  20. The Surrey With the Fringe on Top (Hammerstein/Rodgers)
Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded November 18, 1952 and December 29, 1953

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Billy's note: "This is a compilation of a things that were recorded as singles, not made as an album. There are some very swinging things, as well as compositions that are favorites, including All Too Soon, one of Duke's tunes that I love to play. I learned Accent on Youth from Duke, the piece itself was taken from an Amos and Andy Movie. This was the very first song I heard heard the flatted fifth used. I never noticed that device in a melody before I heard this tune. I didn't know what it was, but sat down and figured it out, liked it. Many years later, it was used extensively in bebop."

"The version of Lover that we played here was one of the swingingest things we did with the Trio. A number of years later, I was talking to Earl May about this, asking he remembered how we played this song. And he said, 'I never played that fast in my life."

"Hey Lock, was written by the great tenor saxophonist Eddie Lockjaw Davis."

"Taylor is tasteful, swinging and creative within the boundaries of bop and swing on this early set, among his first dates as a leader and excellent examples of his already individual style."
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide

Mambo Jazz - Prestige PRP 171

Billy Taylor, Piano

Recorded: November 2, 1953 and September 7, 1954

Billy Taylor Trio, Volume. 3 - Prestige PRLP-168

Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded November 2, 1953 and December 29, 1953

1. Cool and Caressing (Taylor)
2. Tenderly (Gross/Lawrence)
3. I've Got the World on a String (Arlen/Koehler)
4. Bird Watcher (Taylor)
5. That's All (Brandt/Haymes)
6. The Surry With the Fringe on Top

Billy Taylor Plays for DJs - Prestige 184
Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded July 30, 1954

1. Time for Tex
2. Moonlight in Vermont (Blackburn/Suessdorf)
3. I'll Be Around (Wilder)
4. Biddy's Beat (Taylor)
5. Eddie's Tune
6. Mood for Mendes (Taylor)
7. Goodbye (Jenkins)
8. Lullaby of Birdland (Shearing/Weiss)

The Billy Taylor Trio with Candido - Prestige OJCCD-015-2
  1. Mambo Inn (Sampson/Wooden/Bauza)
  2. Bit of Bedlam
  3. Declivity
  4. Love for Sale (Porter)
  5. A Live One
  6. Different Bells MP3
All compositions by Billy Taylor, except where noted.

Candido - Bongos, Conga, Performer
Percy Bryce - Drums
Candido Camero - Conga
Earl May - Bass
Charlie Smith - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded September 7, 1954

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Billy was quite conversant with Afro-Cuban rhythms, having worked with Machito’s orchestra in the mid-Forties. He had recorded with his unit in that idiom for Roost and then, on Prestige--with Machito’s rhythm section--in a mambo session. Candido, after arriving in New York from his native Havana in the early Fifties, almost immediately became part of the jazz scene. He and the Taylor trio were well-suited to one another and as Billy has said, he is “another solo voice as well as an extension of the rhythm section.”

Billy's notes: "This is an early Latin recording, when Candido and I were working together at the DownBeat club on 54th Street with my trio, for over a year. I actuallly gave Candido his first job in New York. Dizzy brought him into the DownBeat, which was around the corner from the Latin music emporium, the Palladium. Diz told me had a drummer for me to check out. Candido had two congas with him and he sat in with the group. I think Dizzy brought him to play with me because he was about to hire Candido but wanted to hear him play, first."

"Candido created such a buzz that night that Irving Levy, the brother of Morris Levy, who owned the club, hired him immediately and he started working with me the next night. When Dizzy came back, looking for him, I had to tell him that Candido already had a job. He ended up staying with my group for about a year."

"I took the title of the song Different Bells from something he used to say quite often. He was just learning to speak English, at the time and this became a phrase he found quite useful. When something was unique, he would say, Different Bells. He used it all the time."

Live! at Town Hall - New Jazz NJST-8313

Percy Brice - Drums
Earl May - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded December 17, 1954

1. A Foggy Day (Gershwin/Gershwin)
2. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Johnston/Raye)
3. Sweet Georgia Brown
4. How High the Moon (Hamilton/Lewis)
5. Theodora (Taylor)

Billy Taylor Trio with Earl May and Percy Bryce - Prestige 24285
  1. A Foggy Day (Gershwin/Gershwin) + listen
  2. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Johnston/Raye) + listen
  3. Sweet Georgia Brown + listen
  4. Theodora (Taylor) +listen
  5. How High the Moon (Hamilton/Lewis) + listen
  6. Early Bird (Taylor)
  7. À Bientôt (Taylor)
  8. Memories of Spring (Taylor)
  9. Ever So Easy (Taylor)
  10. Day Dreaming (Taylor)
  11. Radioactivity (Taylor)
  12. Purple Mood (Collins)
  13. Long Tom (Taylor)
  14. It's a Grand Night for Swinging (Taylor)
  15. Blue Clouds (Taylor)
  16. Live It Up (Taylor)
  17. Daddy-O (Taylor)
Earl May - Bass
Percy Bryce - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

December 17, 1954 (+) and April 10, 1955

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Billy's notes: "The cover picture is from the Town Hall concert, where I played an eleven foot Steinway and the the guys were pretty far away from me. That's when I introduced my composition, Theodora, for my wife. I actually wrote that the afternoon of the concert and I gave it to Earl right before the concert. Even though he had never played it before, he picked it right up. Earl has a great ear and is so soft spoken, people don't realize the depth of his playing. He's one of the great ones."

"The other tracks are taken from a session a few months later that featured a lot of music I wrote for radio DJs, including Daddy-O, for Chicago's Daddy O'Daily, and a Grand Night For Swinging. I liked that one so much I ended up using it as my theme song. The only thing on that session I didn't write was Purple Mood, which was composed by Al Jazzbo Collins, who, for many years, was a colorful jazz DJ."

"Something else about the Town Hall concert that stands out for me was that I played I'll Remember April in the key of B, which isn't how it's usually played in jazz. The key of B is more common in classical music. I learned it in B because I had to play it for a singer in that key, and I said, well, I'll just keep it here."

"Billy Taylor has become a jazz institution, with his multi-faceted role as a leading jazz musician, and jazz educator and spokesman, as well as serving several stretches in hosting both local and syndicated radio programs. Still going strong at 82, when this Prestige reissue CD became available in the fall of 2003, many of his longtime fans will finally get their first opportunity to hear some of his long unavailable early recordings. This compilation combines two trio dates with bassist Earl May and drummer Percy Bryce: his 1954 Town Hall concert, and a studio session from the following year. His lush introduction to "I'll Remember April" is breathtaking, though it quickly shifts into a brisk bop setting when the rhythm section joins him. Bryce's crisp brushwork underscores the light-hearted but swinging setting of "Sweet Georgia Brown." But the hidden gem of the concert is his heartfelt ballad, and tribute to his wife, "Theodora." The studio session consists primarily of Taylor's original compositions. It kicks off with the roller coaster bop of "Early Bird," a Charlie Parker-influenced original, followed by another original, the lovely "A Bientot," which has remained in the pianist's repertoire for decades. Taylor's "A Grand Night for Swinging," one of his best known works, is a swinging blues. Billy Taylor fans should seek out this CD immediately."
Ken Dryden - All Music Guide

A Touch of Taylor - LP Prestige 7001

Recorded Apr 10, 1955

1. Early Bird
2. A Bientot
3. Memories of Spring
4. Ever So Easy
5. Day Dreaming
6. Radioactivity
7. Purple Mood
8. Long Tom
9. Blue Clouds
10. A Grand Night for Swinging
11. Live It Up
12. Daddy-O

All Compositions by Billy Taylor

Evergreens -Paramount ABC-112

Percy Brice - Drums
Earl May - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded January 1-2, 1956

1. Cheek to Cheek (Berlin)
2. It's Too Late Now
3. I Only Have Eyes for You (Dubin/Warren)
4. Then I'll Be Tired of You
5. All the Things You Are (Hammerstein/Kern)
6. But Not for Me (Gershwin/Gershwin)
7. You Don't Know What Love Is
8. Satin Doll (Ellington/Mercer/Strayhorn)
9. More Than You Know
10. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Arlen/Koehler)

 

Billy Taylor at the London House - Paramount 134

Percy Bryce - Drums
Earl May - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded January 22, 1956

1. London House (Taylor)
2. It Might as Well Be Spring (Hammerstein/Rodgers)
3. Gone With the Wind (Magidson/Wrubel)
4. Our Love Is Here to Stay (Gershwin/Gershwin)
5. Midnight Piano (Taylor)
6. I Cover the Waterfront (Green/Heyman)
7. Stella by Starlight (Washington/Young)

My Fair Lady Loves Jazz - GRP 141
  1. Show Me (Lerner/Loewe)
  2. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (Lerner/Loewe)
  3. With a Little Bit of Luck (Lerner/Loewe)
  4. The Rain in Spain (Lerner/Loewe)
  5. Get Me to the Church on Time (Lerner/Loewe)
  6. Wouldn't It Be Loverly? (Lerner/Loewe)
  7. I Could Have Danced All Night (Lerner/Loewe)
  8. On the Street Where You Live (Lerner/Loewe)
Jimmy Cleveland - Trombone
Quincy Jones - Arranger
Gerry Mulligan - Baritone Sax
Anthony Ortega - Alto and Tenor Sax
Ernie Royal - Trumpet
Ed Thigpen - Drums
James Buffington - French Horn
Don Butterfield - Tuba
Al Casamenti - Guitar
Don Elliott - Trumpet, Bongos, Mellophonium, Vibraphone
Charlie Fowlkes - Bartione Sax
Earl May - Bass
Jay McAllister - Tuba
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded January 8 and February 5, 1957

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Billy's notes: "This is one of the best records I've done with a large ensemble. Quincy was really at the top of his game here, and the charts are just wonderful. Gerry Mulligan wasn't contract to play on this date, he just dropped by and sat in the studio while we were playing. Charlie Fowlkes was playing baritone and at one point, he had to leave to go play with the Basie band, which was his regular gig. But since Gerry was there, he played the rest of the date. He wasn't a featured soloists, he just played the parts, yet he didn't hesitate. When he saw Charlie had to leave, he took his horn out of the case and said, let's go. I really miss the camaradie from those days, when there was a very active studio scene in New York."

"Don Elliot, a musical jack of all trades, was also on the date. He and Quincy were very good friends, they had worked together on a number of commercials and when some of the parts need additional instruments, he came in and played them all. I used to work with Don when he was playing a lot of vibraphone duets with Terry Gibbs."

"Another standout for me was Anthony Ortega, who played a solo that at the time, seemed pretty far out, but as we listen now, it's not out of order. But in that era, it was a different approach that he managed to successfully execute."

"I was also totally knocked out by the orchestrations that Quincy did on that album. The instrumentation was simliar to Miles' Birth of the group and although he wasn't imitating that music, that was what he had in mind and he did it brilliantly."

"My Fair Lady was a very very successful Broadway musical and actually recorded the music after they celebrated their first year on Broadway. After the recording was released, we got a chance to go play the music for the cast, which was a big thrill."

"Recorded at a time when My Fair Lady was a big Broadway hit (but a few years before it became a film), this CD reissue brings back one of the very best jazz interpretations of the classic score. The focus throughout is on the Billy Taylor trio (which included bassist Earl May and drummer Ed Thigpen), but Quincy Jones' arrangements for the seven horns are quite memorable. There is room for short solos from such players as trumpeter Ernie Royal, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, altoist Anthony Ortega, and baritonist Gerry Mulligan, and their presence clearly inspires pianist Taylor to some of his finest playing. Highly recommended.
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide

The New Billy Taylor Trio - Paramount ABCS-226

Ed Thigpen - Drums
Earl May - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano, Leader

Recorded October 25 and 28, 1957

1. There Will Never Be Another You performed by Taylor / Mack Gordon / Harry Warren
2. Sounds in the Night (Taylor)
3. The More I See You performed by Taylor / Harry Warren / Mack Gordon
4. Will You Still Be Mine? performed by Taylor / Matt Dennis / Tom Adair
5. 'Round Midnight performed by Taylor / Thelonious Monk / Cootie Williams
6. There's a Small Hotel performed by Taylor / Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart -
7. I Never Get Enought of You performed by Taylor / Bob Haymes -
8. Titoros (Taylor)

The Billy Taylor Touch - Atlantic 1277

Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded Oct 28, 1957

1. You Make Me Feel So Young (Gordon/Myrow)
2. Earl May (Taylor)
3. Can You Tell by Looking at Me (Taylor)
4. I Get a Kick Out of You (Porter)
5. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream... (Barris/Koehler/Moll)
6. Willow Weep for Me (Ronell)
7. Good Groove (Taylor)
8. What Is There to Say? (Duke/Harburg)
9. Thou Swell (Hart/Rodgers)
10. The Very Thought of You (Noble)
11. Somebody Loves Me (DeSylva/Gershwin/MacDonald )

One for Fun - Atlantic 1329

Kenny Dennis - Drums
Earl May - Bass
Billy Taylor - Pian

Recorded June 24, 1959

1. At Long Last Love (Porter)
2. Makin' Whoopee (Donaldson/Kahn)
3. When Lights Are Low (Carter/Williams)
4. Poinciana (Bernier/Simon)
5. Blue Moon (Hart/Rodgers)
6. Summertime (Gershwin/Gershwin/Heyward)
7. A Little Southside Soul
8. One for Fun (Taylor)
9. That's for Sure (Taylor)

Billy Taylor With Four Flutes - Original Jazz Classics 1830
  1. The Song Is Ended (Berlin) listen
  2. Back Home (Taylor) listen
  3. St. Thomas (Rollins) listen
  4. Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin/Gershwin)listen
  5. No Parking (Taylor) listen
  6. Koolbongo (Williams)
  7. Blue Shutters (Taylor)
  8. One for the Woofer (Taylor)
  9. How About You? (Freed/Lane)
Phil Bodner - Flute
Herbie Mann - Flute
Jerome Richardson - Flute
Dave Bailey - Drums
Seldon Powell - Flute
Chano Pozo - Conga
Albert "Tootie" Heath - Drums
Jerry Sanfino - Flute
Billy Slapin - Flute
Frank Wess - Flute
Tommy Williams - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

July 20 and 24, 1959

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Billy's notes: "I love the flute sound and always wanted to do something with that format so for this date, we enlisted some of best flutists in Jazz including Herbie Mann, Frank Wess, Jerome Richardson, and Seldon Powell, who later joined Frank in the band I led on the David Frost show."

"I was very proud of this idea and the way the recording turned out, but it didn't get the attention I had hoped it would get. It was a unique idea. So unique that my friend Quincy Jones took the sound and used it. I was recording quite a bit with him in those days and he called me for a session, music for a commerial for a chocolate product whose name I've forgotten. Anyway, when I got to the date, he had ten flutes, all kinds of flutes and he was just a beautiful recording. I teased Quincy and said that he gave me the date just because he wanted to show me how much more he could do with four flutes."

"My interest in the flute stems directly from the way Frank Wess plays the flute. Frank is my favorite flauist, the others are wonderful, but I just love the sound that Frank gets, which is so different than the way he plays the tenor saxophone. I first really took notice of Frank's approach to the flute at Birdland, in the 50s, when he was playing with the Basie Band. I was the house pianist at Birdland at the time and when the Basie Band played the club, it was an event. Frank's playing was so special on the flute, especially in that context, with the band absolutely wailing and blasting, that it make me focus on what I wanted to hear from the flute because what he was doing was so special."

Taylor Made Jazz - Argo LPS-650

Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded November, 1959

1. Biddy's Beat (Taylor)
2. Theodora (Taylor)
3. Mood for Mendes (Taylor)
4. Daddy-O
5. Cu-Blu (Taylor)
6. Day Dreaming
7. Can You Tell by Looking at Me (Taylor)
8. Tune Up!

Custom Taylored - Sesac 3001

Henry Grimes - Bass
Ray Mosca - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded in 1959

1. Warming Up
2. Easy Like
3. That's Where It Is
4. Afterthoughts
5. Easy Walker
6. Lonesome Lover
7. Don't Bug Me
8. Coffee Break
9. You Know What I Mean
10. Native Dancer
11. Uncle Fuzzy
12. No After Taste

All Compositions by Billy Taylor

Uptown Live - Original Jazz Classics 1901
  1. La Petite Mambo (Garner)
  2. Jordu (Jordan) listen
  3. Just the Thought of You (Taylor) listen
  4. Soul Sisters (Taylor) listen
  5. Moanin' (Timmons) listen
  6. Warm Blue Stream (Cassey/Wayne)
  7. Biddy's Beat (Taylor)
  8. Cu-Blu (Taylor)
  9. 'S Wonderful (Gershwin/Gershwin)
Henry Grimes - Bass
Ray Mosca - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

February 4, 1960 Recorded Live at New York's The Prelude

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Billy's notes: "This is one of best my trios that sadly, didn't stay together very long. Henry Grimes is a remarkable bassist who always added something special to the groups he played with. Henry's comeback was one of the great jazz stories of 2003, wherein a missing figure suddenly re-emerged on the jazz scene after a 35-year leave of absence.

On this set, we did some things from the repetoire, and I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate my awareness and love for female composers. Warm Blue Stream was written by Sarah Cassey, who never got very much attention. It's a lovely piece."

"Pianist Billy Taylor's regular trio of 1960 (which also includes bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ray Mosca) sounds quite tight on this live set, even though they had only been together a brief time. Taylor performs a wide-ranging program within the modern mainstream of the early '60s, including pieces by Erroll Garner ("La Petite Mambo"), Duke Jordan and Bobby Timmons (a heartfelt rendition of "Moanin"), four of his originals (highlighted by the boppish "Biddy's Beat") and a driving version of "'S Wonderful." Although Taylor's activities as a highly articulate spokesman for jazz have sometimes overshadowed his playing, he shows throughout this fine CD reissue that he has long ranked among the best.
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide

Warming Up - Riverside RP-12-339

Henry Grimes - Bass
Ray Mosca - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded March 26, 1960

1. Warming Up (Taylor)
2. Easy Like (Castion/Taylor)
3. That's Where It Is (Taylor)
4. Native Dancer (Taylor)
5. Coffee Break (Taylor)
6. Afterthoughts (Taylor)
7. Easy Walker (Taylor)
8. Lonesome Lover (Taylor)
9. Don't Bug Me (Taylor)
10. You Know What I Mean (Taylor)
11. Uncle Fuzzy (Taylor)
12. No Aftertaste

Easy Like - Sesac 52

Henry Grimes - Bass
Ray Mosca - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded March 26, 1960

1. Warming Up
2. Easy Like
3. That's Where It Is
4. Afterthoughts
5. Easy Walker
6. Lonesome Lover
7. Don't Bug Me
8. Coffee Break
9. You Know What I Mean
10. Native Dancer
11. Uncle Fuzzy
12. No After Taste

All Compositions by Billy Taylor

Interlude - Moodsville MVP-16

Doug Watkins - Bass
Ray Mosca - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded January 3, 1961

1. You Tempt Me
2. Do You Dream Too?
3. You're All That Matters
4. Interlude (
5. You're Mine, You (Green/Heyman)
6. My Heart Sings
7. I Sigh
8. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
9. All Alone

All compositions by Billy Taylor except where noted

The Original Jazz Score of "Kwamina" - Mercury SR-60654

Jimmy Cleveland - Trombone
Jerome Richardson - Sax (Baritone)
Les Spann - Guitar
Julius Watkins - French Horn
George Duvivier - Bass
Clark Terry - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Osie Johnson - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano, Leader
Frank Wess - Sax (Tenor)
Phil Woods - Sax (Alto)
Jimmy Jones Jr. - Arranger

Recorded September 12-14, 1961

1. Something Big
2. I'm Seeing Rainbows
3. Ordinary People
4. The Cocoa Bean
5. What's Wrong With Me
6. Nothing More to Look Forward To
7. Another Time, Another Place
8. Happy Is the Cricket
9. Sun Is Beginning to Crow

All compositions by Richard Adler

Impromptu - Mercury MG-20722

Jim Hall - Guitar
Walter Perkins - Drums
Bob Cranshaw - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

May 8-10, 1962

1. Capricious (Taylor)
2. Impromptu (Taylor)
3. Don't Go Down South (Taylor)
4. Muffle Guffle (Taylor)
5. Free and Oozy (Taylor)
6. Paraphrase (Taylor)
7. Empty Ballroom (Une Salle de Bal Vide) (Taylor)
8. At la Carousel (Taylor)

Right Here, Right Now - Capitol ST-2039

Urbie Green - Trombone
Thad Jones - Trumpet
Oliver Nelson - Arranger
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Jerome Richardson - Flute, Sax (Alto)
Ernie Royal - Trumpet
Grady Tate - Drums
Quentin Jackson - Trombone
Britt Woodman - Trombone
Frank Abbey - Engineer
Wayne Andre - Trombone
John Bello - Trumpet
Clark Terry - Trumpet
Romeo Penque - Sax (Tenor)
Doc Severinsen - Trumpet
Tony Studd - Trombone
Billy Taylor - Piano
Ben Tucker - Bass
Phil Woods - Sax (Alto)
Stanley Webb - Sax (Tenor)
Eugene E. Young - Trumpet

November 12, 1963

1. Soul Sister (Taylor)
2. Easy Walker (Castion)
3. That's Where It Is (Castion)
4. Stolen Moments (Nelson)
5. Afterthoughts (Castion)
6. Right Here, Right Now (Taylor/Tucker)
7. Freedom (Taylor/Tucker)
8. I Believe in You (Loesser)
9. Something Always Happens (Taylor)
10. A Lot of Livin' to Do (Adams/Strouse)
11. I Wish I Knew (Taylor)
12. Give Me the Simple Life (Bloom/Ruby)

Midnight Piano - Capitol ST-2302

Jimmy Cleveland - Trombone
Urbie Green - Trombone
Oliver Nelson - Arranger, Conductor
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Jerome Richardson - Reeds
Grady Tate - Drums
Joe Wilder - Trumpet
Quentin Jackson - Trombone
Frank Abbey - Engineer
Ray Alonge - Horn
Robert Ashton - Reeds
Richard Berg - Horn
David Cavanaugh - Producer
Clark Terry - Trumpet
Barry Galbraith - Guitar
Julius Held - Percussion, Reeds
Bob Northern - Percussion
Romeo Penque - Reeds
Joseph Singer - Horn
Tony Studd - Trombone
Billy Taylor - Piano
Ben Tucker - Bass
Phil Woods - Sax (Alto)
Snooky Young - Trumpet

Recorded October 12-14, 1964

1. Midnight Piano
2. You Came a Long Way from St. Louis (Brooks/Russell)
3. Just the Thought of You (Taylor)
4. A Secret (Castion)
5. My Romance (Hart/Rodgers)
6. It's a Grand Night for Swinging (Taylor)
7. You Tempt Me (Taylor)
8. Don't Ever Say That We're Through (Castion)
9. Days of Wine and Roses (Mancini/Mercer)
10. Miss Fine (Nelson)
11. This Is All I Ask (Jenkins)
12. Love for Sale (Porter)

Today - Prestige 7662

Billy Taylor - Piano
Ben Tucker - Bass
Grady Tate - Drums

Recorded April 1, 1969

1. La Petite Mambo (Garner)
2. Theodora (Taylor)
3. A Sleepin' Bee (Arlen/Capote)
4. There Will Never Be Another You (Gordon/Warren)
5. Paraphrase (Taylor)
6. Bye Y'all
7. Don't Go Down South
8. Brother, Where Are You

Sleeping Bee - Pausa MPS 7096

Billy Taylor - Piano
Ben Tucker - Bass
Grady Tate - Drums

Recorded April, 1969

1. La Petite Mambo (Garner)
2. Theodora (Taylor)
3. Paraphrase (Taylor)
4. Bye Y'all
5. Don't Go Down South
6. Brother, Where Are You
7. There Will Never Be Another You (Gordon/Warren)
8. A Sleepin' Bee (Arlen/Capote)

1970 - OK Billy - Bell 6049

1971 - From David Frost & Billy Taylor:Merry Christmas - Bell 6053

Jazz Alive - Mommouth Evergreen MES 7089

Billy Taylor - Piano
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Freddie Waits Drums

Recorded June 21, 1977

1. Suite for Jazz Piano and Orchestra: Duane...
2. Ivoire
3. Echoes of Ellington: Solitude/In a...

Live at Storyville - West 54 8008

Billy Taylor - Piano
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Grady Tate - Drums

Recorded December 2-3, 1977

1. Misty
2. A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli)
3. My Heart Sings
4. Naima (Coltrane)
5. Bird Watcher (Taylor)
6. Lush Life (Strayhorn)
7. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free. (Taylor)

1978 - The Billy Taylor Trio in Live Performance - Monmouth

Where You've Been - Concord Jazz 4145
  1. Where've You Been listen
  2. Night Coming Tenderly listen
  3. Ray's Tune listen
  4. Antoinette listen
  5. I'm in Love With You listen
  6. All Alone
  7. I Think of You
  8. Capricious
All Compositions by Billy Taylor

Joe Kennedy - Violin
Keith Copeland - Drums
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded December, 1989

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Billy's notes: "This recording features my Trio and a great violinist in the tradition of Eddie South and Stuff Smith, my dear friend Joe Kennedy, who passed away on April 17, 2004. Joe was one of the original members of the Ahmad Jamal Group in Pittsburgh. Joe wasn't very well know by the jazz public, because he spent most of his time teaching, and playing with the Richmond Symphony, although he excelled as both as educator, and as a classical musician."

"I was commisoined the Roanoke Sympthony, conducted by Victoria Bond, to write a suite and with Joe in mind, because he lived not far from there, I wrote something for violin, trio and orchestra. I titled it, Conversations, and it's a lovely piece, although we've never recorded it. The whole idea is that the conversations are between the sections of the orchestra. They play off of each other, and the soloists. It's actually one of the most interesting pieces I've written and I'd love to record it."

You Tempt Me - Taylor Made 1004

  1. Take the "A" Train (Strayhorn) listen
  2. Tom, Vaguely listen
  3. You Tempt Me
  4. Let Us Make a Joyful Noise/Spiritual listen
  5. Rejoice listen
  6. Prayer
  7. Celebrate
  8. Walking in the Light
All Other Compositions by Billy Taylor

Curtis Boyd - Drums
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded June 24, 1985

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Billy's notes: "At Billy Strayhorn's funeral, in 1967, I decided to play his classic Take the A Train, in a much slower version and that's what we recorded here with my working trio at the time. The bulk of this CD is a trio version of my Suite for symphony orchestra, Let's Make A Joyful Noise, which was inspired by a Psalm, as well as Duke Ellington's sacred concerts. This music is in that same spirit."

"This was a short lived trio with Curtis Boyd on drums. He's a really swinging drummer who's gone on to bigger and better things. During his tenure with the group, we did some things which I was very pleased with. Victor Gaskin takea a wonderful arco bass solo on Spiritual here, where he bows the melody."

White Nights and Jazz in Leningrad - Taylor Made T-1001
  1. Secret Love (Fain/Webster) listen
  2. Pensativa (Fischer) listen
  3. A Child Is Born (Jones) listen
  4. C-A-G (Taylor)
  5. I Remember You (Mercer/Schertzinger) listen
  6. Your Smile (Castion)
  7. My Romance (Hart/Rodgers)
  8. Jingles (Montgomery)
  9. Morning (Fischer)
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Bobby Thomas - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded June 14-15, 1998

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Billy's notes: "We recorded this music just after we returned from a successful, first tour of the Soviet Union with my Trio, back in in the Summer of 1998. The repetoire is taken from the program we played for the Russian, trying to let them hear music they had no access to, including a composition by Wes Montgomery and another by Claire Fisher."

"A group of composers and musicians were invited to meet with the visiting musicians and we played in Moscow and Leningrad and had a ball. At that time of year, the sun never really goes down, it just dips, so there is light twenty four hours a day. Some people on the tour couldn't get to sleep, they had to cover the windows of their hotel rooms. Up there, at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, it's dark all winter, and light all summer. Hence the title, White Nights."
Solo - Taylor Made T-1002
  1. All the Things You Are (Hammerstein/Kern) listen
  2. A Bientot (Taylor) listen
  3. Handle With Care (Taylor) listen
  4. Old Folks (Hill/Robison) listen
  5. Tune for Howard to Improvise Upon (Taylor) listen
  6. and Caressing (Taylor)
  7. I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart/Rodgers)
  8. Yesterdays (Harbach/Kern)
  9. More Than You Know (Eliscu/Rose/Youmans)
  10. A Bit of Bedlam (Taylor)
  11. For Undine (Taylor)
  12. Billy's Beat (Taylor)
  13. Gone With the Wind (Magidson/Wrubel)
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded August 1-2, 1988

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Billy's notes: "For this recording, I chose music with a special meaning. A Bientot, was the closing theme on my radio program. Handle with Care was one of my first compositions where I was playing with both hands, trying to establish that as part of my regular approach to melodic improvisation. Playing that way, you have two different themes going at one time."

"I wrote A Tune For Howard To Improvise On as part of a Meet The Composer birthday tribute to Howard Klein, the Director of Arts and Humanities for the Rockefeller Foundation."

"Other than a pair of obscure albums from 1956, this was Billy Taylor's first solo piano recording. Released by his Taylor-Made label, the music on this CD is consistently colorful. On the opener "All the Things You Are," Taylor plays the first three choruses quite successfully with just his left hand. Other highlights of this straightahead set include the pianist's "A Bit of Bedlam" (one of seven originals among the 13 songs), "More than You Know," "For Undine" and "Billy's Beat." Well worth checking out.
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide
Jazzmobile Allstars - Taylor Made - 1003

Recorded April 5 and 6, 1989

Ted Dunbar - Guitar
Jimmy Owens - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano
Bobby Thomas - Drums
Frank Wess - Flute, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
  1. Bird Watcher listen
  2. Ceora
  3. Is This the Blues? listen
  4. Solo for Flugelhorn listen
  5. Same Old Seven listen
  6. Fanfare for Soprano Sax
  7. Valse
  8. Turnaround
  9. Ballade
  10. Sketch
All compositions except Ceora written by Billy Taylor

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Dr. T - GRP 9692

 

Gerry Mulligan - Baritone Sax
Victor Gaskin - Bass
Bobby Thomas - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded in 1993

1. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Johnston/Raye)
2. 'Round Midnight (Hanighen/Monk/Williams)
3. Line for Lyons (Mulligan)
4. Cubano Chant (Bryant)
5. Lush Life (Strayhorn)
6. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) (Bricusse/Newley)
7. Laurentide Waltz (Peterson)
8. You're Mine (Taylor)
9. Just the Thought of You (Taylor)
10. Rico Apollo (Mulligan)

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It's A Matter of Pride - GRP Records - GRD-9753

Marvin "Smitty" Smith - Drums
Stanley Turrentine - Tenor Saxophone
Ray Mantilla - Conga
Grady Tate - Vocals
Christian McBride - Bass
Billy Taylor - Piano
  1. At la Carousel listen
  2. Picture This listen
  3. It's a Matter of Pride listen
  4. His Name Was Martin listen
  5. Titoro listen
  6. Back Home
  7. Lookin' Up
  8. Paraphrase
  9. I'm a Lover
  10. If You Really Are Concerned MP3
Recorded in 1993

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Billy's notes: "The vocals here are by Grady Tate, who played drums with my Trio for a number of years. Grady is a wonderful singer and after many years of being one of the busiest drummers in New York, people are now taking him seriously as a vocalist."

"The reason I asked Grady to sing on this recording was because he brought a unique treatment to compositions which are very special to me, It's a Matter of Pride, and If You Really Are Concerned.. Both are from a suite comissioned by the Atlanta Symphony, Peaceful Warrior, written for Dr. Martin Luther King. But on this recording, we play them in a Quartet context."

"So, this record is really special record one for me, in terms of the repetoire, the suites and the Latin things, and the musicians who joined me."

Homage - GRP Records 9806

Turtle Island String Quartet:
Darol Anger - Violin
Danny Seidenberg - Viola
Tracy Silverman - Violin
Mark Summer - Cello
Jim Saporito - Percussion
Chip Jackson - Bass
Steve Johns - Drums
Billy Taylor - Piano

Recorded October 10-11, 1994
  1. Homage: Pt. 1 listen
  2. Homage: Pt. 2 listen
  3. Homage: Pt. 3 listen
  4. Step into My Dream: Step into My Dream listen
  5. Step into My Dream: Billy and Dave listen
  6. Step into My Dream: On This Lean Mean Street
  7. Step into My Dream: Barbados Beauty
  8. Step into My Dream: Kim's Song
  9. Step into My Dream: Hope and Hostility
  10. Step into My Dream: Uncle Bob
  11. Step into My Dream: Two Shades of Blue
  12. Step into My Dream: Dave and Billy
  13. Step into My Dream: Back to My Dream
  14. It Happens All the Time
  15. One for Fun
All Compositions by Billy Taylor

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Billy's notes: "This CD has two parts, Homage, which I was comissioned to compose for the Juilliard String Quartet. Here, it's performed by the Turtle Island Quartet. The second part is Step Into My Dream, a dance suite I was comissioned to write for the David Parsons Dance Company. After the recording, my Trio toured with the David Parsons Dance Company. We also toured with both the Juilliard String Quartet and the Turtle Island Quartet, to appreciative audiences all over the country."

"The Juilliard String Quartet were of great assistance in the creation of Homage. While I was composing, they offered particularly invaluable feedback. In fact, I went to see them before I composed the piece, in a performance for their students. I heard them playing contemporary music, at schools and on their recordings. So I decided that I was going to write a contemporary piece for them. But when I went to hear these cats play at Juilliard, it was like listening to a jazz group. Of course they played classical music but what impressed me was their interplay between the members of the group, which was like the elevated level of creativity and collaboration one hears in a great jazz quartet. I could hear all their transitions. And so did the audience, because they were totally in sync with the music. So I wrote Homage with all this in mind."

Video:
Billy rehearses and performs his Homage
with the Juilliard String Quartet, from a 1992 CBS Sunday Morning Feature
Watch: Windows Media | Real Media
DSL/Cable Recommended

Music Keeps Us Young - Arkadia Jazz -71606

Billy Taylor - Piano
Chip Jackson - Bass
Steve Johns - Drums

Recorded August 6-8, 1996
  1. Wouldn't It Be Loverly (Lerner/Loewe) listen
  2. Lover, Come Back to Me (Hammerstein/Romberg) listen
  3. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free) (Taylor) listen
  4. Body and Soul (Eyton/Green/Heyman/Sour) listen
  5. One for the Woofer (Taylor) listen
  6. Ballade (Taylor)
  7. Naima (Coltrane)
  8. Up Jumped Spring (Hubbard)
  9. Caravan (Ellington/Mills/Tizol)
  10. Interlude (Taylor)
  11. Arkadia Blues (Taylor)
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This CD contains the latest version of Billy's composition, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," and Billy reports that "I wrote this song, perhaps my best known composition, for my daughter Kim. This is one of the best renditions I’ve done, because it is very spiritual."

"Billy Taylor belies his 75 years of life with this cheerfully infectious, flawlessly articulated performance."
Jack Sohmer, Jazz Times

"The title of this endearing, unpretentious recording must be accurate, for veteran pianist Billy Taylor looks, acts and, most important, sounds like youth itself. The glitter of his technique, ebullience of his rhythm and high spirits of his playing on every track attest to the man’s rejuvenate powers. To this day, he remains one of the most fluid of keyboard improvisers, reeling off bebop-tinged figures from a seemingly bottomless well of ideas."
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Ten Fingers One Voice - Arkadia Jazz - 71602
  1. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream... (Barris/Koehler/Moll) listen
  2. In a Sentimental Mood (Ellington/Kurtz/Mills) listen
  3. Joy Spring (Brown/Hendricks) listen
  4. Laura (Mercer/Raksin) listen
  5. Easy Like (Castion) listen
  6. Night and Day (Porter)
  7. Can You Tell by Looking at Me (Taylor)
  8. Early Bird (Taylor)
  9. Tea for Two (Caesar/Youmans)
  10. Solo (Taylor)
  11. My Heart Stood Still (Hart/Rodgers)
Billy Taylor - Piano
Recorded 1999

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Billy's notes: "I have always loved playing solo piano. I did it a lot in my early days in radio and television, but once I began to record with trios, all of my musical ideas seemed to call for other instruments...playing solo jazz piano is something I am enjoying more and more as I get older. Making this recording helped me document some of the things I am doing differently from my first solo recording years ago."

"This is delightful, unrestrained solo piano from one of the foremost jazz performers and educators of our time. For years Taylor recorded with trios, but here he goes it alone and treats the listener to another, more carefree realm of his playing...Taylor was 75 years old during this recording, and one would think that at that age perhaps the fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be. He definitely proves that wrong on Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring" (where he changes keys not once but twice!). If you listen closely to this disc while wearing headphones, you can hear Taylor softly vocalizing occasionally — an interesting glimpse into what's going on between his ears as the music flows out of him."
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Read the JazzTimes review.

Urban Griot - Soundpost Records SP-3050-2

Billy Taylor - Piano
Winard Harper - Drums
Chip Jackson - Bass

Recorded November 13 and December 9, 2000 at Manhattan Center Studios, New York City
  1. Local Color/Can You Dig It?
  2. Reclamation
  3. Gracias Chucho MP3
  4. Etude
  5. Conversion
  6. Spoken
  7. In Loving Memory
  8. Like a Heartbeat
  9. Invention/Looking for Another Theme
  10. Transformation
  11. A Duke-Ish Blues
All compositions by Billy Taylor

Billy's notes: "This recording came from doing a series of student workshops and concerts. When we were touring, I wrote compositions to illustrate various musical devices the Trio utilized. Each of these compositions used one of these devices, such as the interval of the 4th, or something in the harmony or melody, to underscore my points."

"Commissioned for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University, Dr. Billy Taylor's Urban Griot is a storyteller's work. Playing the role of an urban griot, Taylor, along with drummer Winard Harper and bassist Chip Jackson, tries to relate to us the history of jazz.... I'll be damned if Taylor isn't hiding a third hand inside one of his suit sleeves..."
Russell Carlson - Jazz Times

"Urban Griot is not simply the latest chapter in Billy Taylor's definitive primer on the piano-led trio. It's a requiem piece." --Phil Schapp - WKCR

Live at IAJE-New York Soundpost Records: SP-5090-2

Billy Taylor - Piano
Winard Harper - Drums
Chip Jackson - Bass

Recorded January 13, 2001 at the 29th Annual IAJE Conference in New York
  1. Introduction by Dr. Ron McCurdy
  2. Impromptu (Taylor) listen
  3. Body & Soul (Eyton/Green/Heyman/Sour) listen
  4. Conversion (Taylor) listen
  5. Titoro (Taylor) listen
  6. Côte d'Ivoire -- Third Movement/Suite for Jazz Piano and Orchestra (Taylor)
"One of the highlights of the 2001 IAJE Conference in New York City was a live performance just prior to the presentation of the NEA Jazz Masters Awards by veteran jazz educator, pianist, and composer Billy Taylor, accompanied by bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Winard Harper. Just shy of 80 years old at the time, the pianist delivers a masterful program." -- Ken Dryden - All Music Guide

Read the JazzTimes review.