Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jazz has lost another icon

2010 has been a hard year on musicians. We have lost quite a few notables this year. It pains me that we have lost yet another this year.

I believe I first became aware of Dr. Billy Taylor when he did a weekly bit on the CBS Sunday morning news show in his role as the self appointed chief educator for jazz. The passing years don't allow me to recall the content of his shows but I know that it was oriented toward teaching us to understand the music. At the time I thought he was just some guy that played piano. It was only as the years and decades passed that I became aware of the high regard in which he was held by musicians who create this music.

As I sit here I cannot think of a single recording released by Dr. Taylor but I know from his stories that he was around as the art form that is jazz was molded into the force it is today. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Taylor for his efforts in helping me, as well as the many others who encountered him, in this our journey to understand this thing they call jazz.

God speed Dr. Taylor, they won't forget your name again, RIP.

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