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Art Taylor

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Art Taylor
Taylor in a 1963 advertisement for Gretsch
Taylor in a 1963 advertisement for Gretsch
Background information
Birth nameArthur S. Taylor Jr.
Born(1929-04-06)April 6, 1929
New York City, US
DiedFebruary 6, 1995(1995-02-06) (aged 65)
New York City, US
Occupation(s)Musician, composer

Arthur S. Taylor Jr. (April 6, 1929 – February 6, 1995) was an American jazz drummer,[1] who "helped define the sound of modern jazz drumming".[2]


As a teenager, Taylor joined a local Harlem band that featured Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean and Kenny Drew. After playing in the bands of Howard McGhee (1948), Coleman Hawkins (1950–51), Buddy DeFranco (1952), Bud Powell (1953), George Wallington and Art Farmer (1954), Powell and Wallington again (1954–55), Gigi Gryce and Donald Byrd (1956), he formed his own group, Taylor's Wailers.[3] Between 1957 and 1963, he toured with Donald Byrd, recorded with Miles Davis, Gene Ammons and John Coltrane, and performed with Thelonious Monk; Taylor also was a member of the original Kenny Dorham Quartet of 1957.[1]

In 1963, Taylor moved to Europe, where he lived mainly in France and Belgium for 20 years, playing with local groups and jazz musicians such as Johnny Griffin, John Bodwin, and with travelling American musicians, such as Woody Shaw during the latter's tenure in Paris.[1] Taylor also studied drums in Paris with Kenny Clarke. He returned to the United States to help his mother, who was ill.[4] He continued freelancing after returning to the United States, and in 1991 organized a second band called Taylor's Wailers. He died aged 65 in Beth Israel Hospital, Manhattan, in 1995.[2]

He was the author of Notes and Tones,[1] a 1977 book based on his interviews with other musicians.[5] This was, for many musicians, a ground-breaking work, because it presented the interviewees' perspectives on the wider social, political, and economic forces in which they operated – topics normally not mentioned in mainstream coverage of jazz musicians.[5]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Pepper Adams, et al.

With Gene Ammons

With Chris Anderson

With Dorothy Ashby

With Benny Bailey

With Kenny Burrell

With Donald Byrd

With Paul Chambers

With Sonny Clark

With James Clay

With Jimmy Cleveland

With Arnett Cobb

With John Coltrane

With Continuum

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Miles Davis

With Walter Davis Jr.

With Kenny Dorham

With Art Farmer

With Tommy Flanagan

With Red Garland

With Matthew Gee

With Benny Golson

With Dexter Gordon

With Bennie Green

With Johnny Griffin

With Tiny Grimes

With Steve Grossman

With Gigi Gryce

With Hampton Hawes'

With Ernie Henry

With Elmo Hope and Frank Foster

With Noah Howard

With Milt Jackson

With Thad Jones

With Clifford Jordan

With Duke Jordan

With Ken McIntyre

With Jackie McLean

With Thelonious Monk

With Lee Morgan

With Oliver Nelson

With Cecil Payne

With Bud Powell

With Julian Priester

With Dizzy Reece

With Charlie Rouse

With Sahib Shihab

With Horace Silver

With Jimmy Smith

With Johnny "Hammond" Smith

With Louis Smith

With Sonny Stitt

With Idrees Sulieman, Webster Young, John Coltrane, and Bobby Jaspar

With Buddy Tate

With Clark Terry

With Toots Thielmans

With Stanley Turrentine

With Mal Waldron

With Julius Watkins and Charlie Rouse

With Randy Weston

With Lem Winchester

With Kai Winding & J. J. Johnson

With Frank Wright


  • Taylor, Art (1993). Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 030680526X. OCLC 28214069. Retrieved June 30, 2023.


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 434. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ a b Watrous, Peter (February 7, 1995), "Art Taylor, 65, Jazz Drummer Who Inspired Young Musicians", The New York Times.
  3. ^ Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007), The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, p. 637. Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ "Eric in The Evening; Art Taylor". Openvault.wgbh.org. 1994. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Lewis, George E. (2008). A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. University of Chicago Press. p. xxviii.
  6. ^ "Mad About Tadd - Continium | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 28, 2019.

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