Sam Taylor (saxophonist)

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Sam L. Taylor (July 12, 1916, Lexington, Tennessee. – October 5, 1990)[1] best known as the tenor saxophonist Sam "The Man" Taylor, was an American jazz and blues player, whose honking style set the standard for tenor sax solos in both rock and roll and rhythm and blues.[citation needed]

Taylor attended Alabama State University, where he played with the Bama State Collegians. He worked with Scatman Crothers, Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Buddy Johnson, Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner. He was one of the most requested session saxophone players in New York recording studios in the 1950s. Taylor also replaced Count Basie as the house bandleader on Alan Freed's 'Camel Rock 'n Roll Dance Party' radio series over CBS.

Taylor's saxophone solo appeared on Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll". He also played on "Money Honey", recorded by Clyde McPhatter with The Drifters in 1953, and on "Sh-Boom" by The Chords.

During the 1960s, he led a five-piece band, the Blues Chasers. In the 1970s, he frequently played and recorded in Japan.

Taylor died in 1990 in Lexington, Tennessee.[1]


  • Blue Mist (MGM), 1955
  • Music with The Big Beat (MGM), 1956
  • Rockin' Sax and Rollin' Organ (with Dick Hyman) (MGM), 1957
  • Jazz for Commuters (MetroJazz Records), 1958
  • More Blue Mist (MGM), 1959
  • Mist of the Orient (MGM), 1962
  • The Bad and The Beautiful (Moodsville), 1962
  • Misty Mood (Decca), 1962
  • It's a Blue World (Decca), 1963
  • Watermelon Man (with Frank Hunter and the Huntsmen) (Epic), 1963
  • Somewhere in the Night (Decca), 1964
  • A Musical Portrait of Ray Charles (with Leroy Holmes and his Orchestra) (MGM)
  • Koga Melodies - Best Collection (Pony Canyon), c. 1970
  • Eternal Standard (Canyon), c. 1971
  • Standard Best Collection Vol I & II (Japanese), 1999

With Langston Hughes