Taylor, Arthur S., Jr.) (New York, 6 April 1929)




He played in a church in Harlem with Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean and worked with Howard McGhee in 1948. He performed and recorded with Coleman Hawkins (1950-51), Buddy DeFranco (1952), Bud Powell (1952-4 and at intervals to the mid-1960s), Art Farmer (1954-5, recording in 1955), George Wallington (1954-6), and Miles Davis (1955-7, recording in 1955 and 1956). In New York he led the group Taylor's Wailers at The Pad, a club in Greenwich Village, until 1956; he also made several trips to Europe, the first of which was with Donald Byrd and Bobby Jaspar (1958), and played with Thelonious Monk (1959). While living in France (from 1963) and Belgium (from 1970) he played frequently with Johnny Griffin and toured the USA. A collection of his interviews with other jazz musicians was published as Notes and Tones: Musician-to-musician Interviews (Liège, Belgium, 1977) and after returning to New York in 1984 he was the host of an interview program on radio station WKCR. Taylor recorded prolifically (especially in the late 1950s) and may be heard on nearly 300 recordings, including John Coltrane's Giant Steps (1959), the title track of which well illustrates Taylor's bop style.

Selected Recordings (recorded for Prestige unless otherwise indicated)


 As leader: Taylor's Wailers (1957, 7117); A. T.'s Delight (1960, Blue Note 4047)

 As sideman with J. Coltrane: Dakar (1957, 7280); Soultrane (1958, 7142); Black Pearls (1958, 7316); Giant Steps (1959, Atlantic 1311)

 As sideman with others: M. Waldron: Mal 2 (1957, 7111); R. Garland: Soul Junction (1957, 7181); Dig it (1957-8, 7229); G. Ammons: Groove Blues (1958, 7201); D. Gordon: A Day in Copenhagen (1969, MPS 15230)



 I. Gitler: "Art Taylor," Down Beat, xxvii/21 (1960), 23

 M. Gibson: "Art Taylor," Jazz Journal, xv/3 (1962), 17

 N. Hentoff: "Soundings: Art Taylor,"Jazz & Pop, ix/8 (1970), 9

 V. Wilmer: "Taylor's New Tricks," Melody Maker (18 April 1970), 8

 S. Crouch: "Drumming up a Book," Village Voice, xxvii (19 Oct 1982), 36

 Jeff Potter

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, © Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988