John Taylor (jazz)
Taylor in 2008
|Born||25 September 1942|
|Died||17 July 2015 (aged 72)|
|Instruments||Piano, organ, synthesiser|
|Associated acts||Kenny Wheeler, John Surman, Norma Winstone|
John Taylor was a self taught pianist. With his family, he moved from Manchester, first to the Midlands and then to Hastings where he played locally. In 1964 Taylor became a civil servant, moved to London and became involved in the free jazz scene.
Taylor first came to the attention of the jazz community in 1969 when he partnered with saxophonists Alan Skidmore and John Surman. He was later reunited with Surman in the short-lived group Morning Glory and in the 1980s with Miroslav Vitous's quartet.
In the early 1970s, Taylor was accompanist to the singer Cleo Laine and started to compose for his own sextet. He also worked with many visiting artists at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, and later became a member of Scott's quintet.
In 1977 Taylor formed the trio Azimuth, with Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler. On some of the group's recording Taylor played synthesiser and organ. The group was described by Richard Williams as "one of the most imaginatively conceived and delicately balanced contemporary chamber-jazz groups". The trio made several recordings for ECM Records and performed in Europe, the USA and Canada.
The 1980s saw Taylor working with groups led by Jan Garbarek, Enrico Rava, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz and Charlie Mariano as well as performing in duos with Tony Coe and Steve Argüelles. Composing projects included a commission for the English choir Cantamus Girls Choir with Lee Konitz and Steve Argüelles and pieces for the Hannover Radio Orchestra with Stan Sulzmann. Taylor also performed on David Sylvian's song "Laughter and Forgetting", on which Kenny Wheeler also featured.
From 2006, Taylor was a member of Kenny Wheeler's quartet and large ensemble and performed in duo and quartet settings with John Surman; their recording of Ambleside Days on ahum won critical acclaim. In 1996 Taylor played organ on Surman's choral work Proverbs and Songs from Salisbury Cathedral, later released on ECM Records. During the 1990s he made several recordings also for ECM with Peter Erskine's trio with Palle Danielsson on bass.
Taylor celebrated his 60th birthday in 2002 with a Contemporary Music Network Tour in which he presented his new trio with drummer Joey Baron and Marc Johnson on bass. The tour also featured the Creative Jazz Orchestra playing Taylor's composition "The Green Man Suite". In July 2002 Taylor received the BBC Jazz Award for 'Best New Work' for this suite.
Taylor's trio recording with Johnson and Baron was released early in 2003, and September 2003 saw the release of his solo CD Insight on Sketch. John Fordham wrote in The Guardian: "This is one of contemporary jazz's great performers at work ... a beautiful solo statement by a very modest star." In 2004 Taylor recorded Where Do We Go from Here? in duo with Kenny Wheeler and Nightfall with bassist Charlie Haden. They subsequently performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Also that year Taylor formed a new trio with Palle Danielsson and Martin France. They performed at the Vancouver Jazz Festival and recorded Angel of the Presence for CAM Jazz. This recording was released in January 2006 to coincide with their UK tour and has received critical acclaim.
Whilst Taylor's unique piano style drew on the whole of the jazz pallette and considerable influence from classical music, his approach was characterised by a sophisticated and advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility. Rhythmically he specialised in asymmetrical meters and in employing "drumming" patterns on the keyboard. Harmonically, he significantly developed and expanded the harmonic vocabulary of musicians such as Bill Evans and Gil Evans.
Taylor was professor of Jazz Piano at the Cologne College of Music from 1993 onwards, and became a Lecturer in jazz at University of York in 2005. He coached and taught undergraduate jazz musicians and was of central importance to the new master's degree jazz pathway and in advancing doctoral research and performance in jazz.
Taylor was married to jazz vocalist Norma Winstone from 1972 until their divorce. The couple had two sons: Leo Taylor, a drummer with indie rock band The Invisible; and Alex Taylor, a singer/songwriter. John Taylor was married to Diana (née de Courcy) until her death in 2004 from cancer and his subsequent marriage to childhood sweetheart Carol Weston lasted for the rest of his life.
Taylor died on 17 July 2015, following a heart attack he suffered while performing at the Saveurs Jazz Festival in Segré, France. Although he was resuscitated at the venue, he died after being taken to hospital.
|1971||octet w/ Norma Winstone, Stan Sulzmann, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Chris Pyne, Chris Laurence, Tony Levin||Pause, and Think Again||Turtle||produced by John Surman; re-released 1995 on FMR|
|1973||John Taylor Trio w/ Chris Laurence, Tony Levin||Decipher||MPS/BASF||cd released in Japan in 1998, remastered in 2000 and again in 2016; German reissue in 2017 by edel|
|1991||John Taylor Trio w/ Mick Hutton, Steve Argüelles||Blue Glass||Ronnie Scott's Jazz House||live recording|
|1992||w/ John Surman||Ambleside Days||Ah Um|
|2001||w/ The Creative Jazz Orchestra (octet w/ Julian and Steve Argüelles a.o.)||Exits and Entrances||Oh No!|
|2002||w/ Kenny Wheeler, Riccardo del Fra||Overnight||Sketch|
|2003||w/ Marc Johnson, Joey Baron||Rosslyn||ECM|
|2005||solo||Songs and Variations||CAM Jazz|
|2005||w/ Steve Swallow, Gabriele Mirabassi||New Old Age||EGEA|
|2005||w/ Palle Danielsson, Martin France||Angel of the Presence||CAM Jazz|
|2007||w/ Palle Danielsson, Martin France||Whirlpool||CAM Jazz||recorded 2005|
|2009||solo||Phases||CAM Jazz||recorded 2006|
|2011||w/ Palle Danielsson, Martin France||Requiem for a Dreamer||CAM Jazz||recorded 2008|
|2012||w/ Palle Danielsson, Martin France||Giulia's Thursdays||CAM Jazz||recorded 2006|
|2014||solo||In Two Minds||CAM Jazz||recorded 2011|
|2015||w/ Alex Taylor, Oren Marshall, Lee Taylor||2081||CAM Jazz|
With Norma Winstone and/or Kenny Wheeler (resp. Azimuth)
|1972||Norma Winstone (w/ large ensemble)||Edge of Time||Argo|
|1973||Kenny Wheeler (w/ large ensemble)||Song for Someone||Incus|
|1979||Azimuth with Ralph Towner||Départ||ECM|
|1984||Kenny Wheeler (quintet) w/ Mike Brecker, David Holland, Jack DeJohnette||Double, Double You||ECM|
|1985, 1996||Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Paolo Fresu, John Taylor, Paolo Damiani, Tony Oxley||Live at Roccella Jonica||Ismez/Polis, Splasc(H)|
|1987||Norma Winstone (trio) w/ Tony Coe||Somewhere Called Home||ECM|
|1987||Kenny Wheeler Quintet w/ Stan Sulzmann, Dave Holland, Bill Elgart||Flutter By, Butterfly||Soul Note|
|1990||Kenny Wheeler (feat. Norma Winstone a.o.)||Music for Large and Small Ensembles||ECM|
|1990||Kenny Wheeler Quintet w/ John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine||The Widow in the Window||ECM|
|1992||Kenny Wheeler (tentet; JT on three of seven tracks)||Kayak||Ah Um|
|1994||Azimuth||How It Was Then... Never Again||ECM|
|1997||Kenny Wheeler (quartet w/ Joe LaBarbera, Riccardo del Fra)||All the More (rec. 1993)||Soul Note|
|1997||Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Norma Winstone w/ The Maritime Jazz Orchestra||Siren's Song||Justin Time|
|1999||Norma Winstone & John Taylor (duo)||Like Song, Like Weather (rec. 1996)||Koch Jazz|
|1999||Kenny Wheeler (w/ large ensemble)||A Long Time Ago||ECM|
|2001||Kenny Wheeler (trio w/ Gabriele Mirabassi)||Moon||Egea|
|2002||The Maritime Jazz Orchestra feat. Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Norma Winstone||Now and Now Again (rec. 1998)||Justin Time|
|2005||Kenny Wheeler (duo)||Where Do We Go from Here?||CAM Jazz|
|2005||Kenny Wheeler (quartet w/ Chris Potter, Dave Holland)||What Now?||CAM Jazz|
|2011||Kenny Wheeler w/ Hugo Wolf String Quartet||Other People||CAM Jazz|
|2011||Kenny Wheeler (trio) w/ Steve Swallow||One of Many||CAM Jazz|
|2012||Kenny Wheeler Big Band||The Long Waiting||CAM Jazz|
|2013||Kenny Wheeler (sextet w/ Stan Sulzmann, Bobby Wellins)||Six for Six (rec. 2008)||CAM Jazz|
|2015||Kenny Wheeler (duo)||On the Way to Two (rec. 2005)||CAM Jazz|
As co-leader and sideman
Line-ups in brackets indicate that names or format are not mentioned on the album front cover. Recordings with artists without wiki entry (for the most part), and the seldom guest appearances were not included. For initial alphabetical order of artists reload the page.
|1981||Arild Andersen w/ Bill Frisell, Alphonse Mouzon||A Molde Concert||ECM|
|1975||Neil Ardley, Ian Carr, Mike Gibbs and Stan Tracey||Will Power - A Shakespeare Birthday Celebration in Music||Argo|
|1991||Julian Argüelles (quartet w/ Mick Hutton, Martin France)||Phaedrus||Ah Um|
|2014||Julian Argüelles (quartet w/ Dave Holland and Martin France)||Circularity||CAM Jazz|
|2013||Pierluigi Balducci w/ Paul McCandless & Michele Rabbia||Blue from Heaven||Dodicilune|
|2017||Pierluigi Balducci, Paul McCandless & Michele Rabbia||Evansiana||Dodicilune|
|1970||Harry Beckett (octet w/ Surman, Osborne, Skidmore, Ricotti, Laurence a.o.)||Flare Up||Philips|
|1971||Harry Beckett (sextet)||Warm Smiles||RCA Victor|
|1972||Harry Beckett's S & R Powerhouse Sections (septet)||Themes for Fega||RCA Victor|
|2009||Tore Brunborg, Thomas Strønen (trio) as Meadow||Blissful Ignorance||Hecca|
|1993||Ian Carr (duo w/ JT organ)||Sounds and Sweet Airs (That Giveth Delight & Hurt Not)||Celestial Harmonies|
|2015||Hayden Chisholm (trio w/ Matt Penman)||Breve||Pirouet|
|1970||Graham Collier (tentet)||Songs for My Father||Fontana|
|1970||Mike Cooper (w/ Alan Skidmore, Mike Osborne a.o.)||Trout Steel||Dawn|
|1972||Paolo Damiani's Musica Mu(n)ta Orchestra (w/ Lindsay Cooper, Gianluigi Trovesi, Fresu, Lauren Newton, Winstone a.o.)||Annìnnìa||Ismez/Polis|
|1972||John Dankworth Big Band||Full Circle||Philips|
|1998||Maria Pia de Vito (quintet w/ Gianluigi Trovesi)||Phoné||Egea|
|2000||Maria Pia de Vito, Ralph Towner (trio)||Verso||Provocateur|
|2000||Maria Pia de Vito (w/ Towner, Swallow, Patrice Héral)||Nel respiro||Provocateur|
|1978||Martin Drew Band (quintet w/ Bill Le Sage, Brian Smith a.o.)||British Jazz Artists Vol. 3||Lee Lambert|
|1979||Jon Eardley (quintet w/ Pete King, Mickey Roker a.o.)||Namely Me||Spotlite|
|1992||Peter Erskine (trio) w/ Palle Danielsson||You Never Know||ECM|
|1993||Peter Erskine (trio) w/ Palle Danielsson||Time Being||ECM|
|1994||Peter Erskine (trio) w/ Palle Danielsson||As It Is||ECM|
|1999||Peter Erskine (trio) w/ Palle Danielsson||Juni||ECM|
|1983||Gil Evans (w/ Surman, Sulzmann, Don Weller, Ray Russell a.o.)||The British Orchestra||Mole Jazz|
|2006||Mark Feldman||What Exit||ECM|
|1993||Paolo Fresu (trio) w/ Furio di Castri||EncontroS||Egea|
|1978||Jan Garbarek||Photo with Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows and a Red Roof||ECM|
|1971||Mike Gibbs (big) Band||Tanglewood 63||Deram|
|1972||Mike Gibbs (big band)||Just Ahead||Polydor|
|1993||Mike Gibbs Orchestra (w/ Wheeler, Evan Parker, Charlie Mariano, Swallow a.o.)||By the Way||Ah Um|
|2018||Mike Gibbs (big) Band (feat. John Scofield w/ Wheeler, Argüelles, Tony Coe, Swallow, Bill Stewart||Symphony Hall, Birmingham 1991||Dusk Fire|
|2004||Charlie Haden (duo)||Nightfall||Naim|
|1970||Don "Sugarcane" Harris (w/ Volker Kriegel, Tony Oxley a.o.)||Keep On Driving||MPS/BASF|
|1988||Lee Konitz (duo)||Songs of the Stars||Jazz House|
|1971||Volker Kriegel (quintet)||Spectrum||MPS/BASF|
|1972||Volker Kriegel (octet w/ Albert Mangelsdorff, Eberhard Weber a.o.)||Inside: Missing Link||MPS/BASF|
|1973||Volker Kriegel (septet w/ Weber, Zbigniew Seifert a.o.)||Lift!||MPS/BASF|
|1971||Cleo Laine with the John Dankworth Quartet||Cleo Laine in Australia||World Record Club|
|1973||Bobby Lamb and the Keymen (tentet)||Bobby Lamb and the Keymen||BBC|
|2011||Marilyn Mazur w/ Josefine Cronholm & Anders Jormin||Celestial Circle||ECM|
|1991||Nick Purnell (big band w/ Wheeler, Gibbs, Argüelles, Django Bates, Erskine a.o.)||Onetwothree||Ah Um|
|1987||Enrico Rava (quintet w/ Bruce Ditmas a.o.) as Rava||Secrets||Soul Note|
|1971||Frank Ricotti & Michael de Albuquerque (quintet)||First Wind||Pegasus|
|1977||Ronnie Scott's Quintet||Serious Gold||Pye|
|1969||Alan Skidmore Quintet||Once Upon a Time||Deram|
|1970||Alan Skidmore Quintet||TCB||Philips|
|2003||Tommy Smith Sextet (w/ Joe Lovano, John Scofield, John Patitucci, Bill Stewart)||Evolution||
|1981||Soft Machine||Land of Cockayne||EMI|
|1970||Splinter (w/ Tom Scott, Chris Spedding a.o.)||Harder to Live||Dark Horse|
|1979||Louis Stewart w/ Sam Jones and Billy Higgins||I Thought About You||Livia|
|1987||Stan Sulzmann (duo)||Everybody's Song but My Own?||Loose Tubes|
|1988||Stan Sulzmann, Frank Ricotti, Tony Hymas, Chris Laurence||Aspects of Paragonne||MMC/EMI|
|2016||Stan Sulzmann (duo)||Double Exposure (rec. 1990)||InVersion|
|1970||John Surman (big band)||How Many Clouds Can You See?||Deram|
|1971||John Surman, Barre Phillips, Stu Martin as The Trio (plus big band w/ Wheeler, Beckett, Skidmore, Osborne, Chick Corea, Dave Holland a.o.)||Conflagration||Dawn|
|1971||John Surman / John Warren||Tales of the Algonquin||Deram|
|1972||John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Tony Oxley a.o.||Jazz in Britain '68–'69||Decca Eclipse|
|1973||John Surman (sextet)||Morning Glory||Island|
|1993||John Surman Quartet||Stranger Than Fiction||ECM|
|1996||John Surman (duo w/ chorus, JT organ)||Proverbs and Songs||ECM|
|2005||John Surman (quartet)||Way Back When (rec. 1969)||Cuneiform|
|1995||Steve Swallow (duo)||Parlance||Instant Present|
|2008||Diana Torto (trio) w/ Anders Jormin||Triangoli||Egea/Astarte|
|1993, 1997||Colin Towns Mask Orchestra w/ Skidmore, Surman, Nigel Hitchcock a.o.||Mask Orchestra (Bolt from the Blue)||The Jazz Label, Provocateur|
|1982||Miroslav Vitouš||Journey's End||ECM|
|1998||Eric Vloeimans w/ Marc Johnson and Joey Baron||Bitches and Fairy Tales||Challenge|
|2000||Eric Vloeimans w/ di Castri and Joe LaBarbera||Umai||Challenge|
|1973||Ray Warleigh w/ Ron Mathewson, Frank Gibson||Reverie||Vinyl|
|1971||Mike Westbrook Orchestra||Metropolis||Neon/RCA Victor|
- "John Taylor". Evening Times. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "John Taylor, jazz pianist - obituary". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Fordham, John (17 December 2007). "Norma Winstone, Amoroso (Only More So)". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Fordham, John (5 September 2003). "John Taylor, Insight". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Tamarkin, Jeff (19 July 2015). "John Taylor, British Pianist, Dead at 72". JazzTimes. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "John Taylor (Jazz Piano)". University of York. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Fordham, John (19 July 2015). "John Taylor obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2015.