• Taylor's Take Five: Dee Dee Serenades Dr. T

    July 24, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: billy taylor

    The following is the fifth in our series of tributes to Dr. Billy Taylor, part of our online celebration of "Doctor T," who would have turned ninety this Sunday. Check wbgo.org/billytaylor for our full tribute page, which includes more clips and our exclusive webcast of Billy Taylor: A Life In Jazz, a new video documentary by Bret Primack.

    Take Five: Dee Dee Serenades Dr. T

    Dee Dee Serenades Doctor T
    Dee Dee Serenades Doctor T

    In 2001, Dr. Billy Taylor was slated to perform with Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Kennedy Center on his 80th birthday, but was forced to cancel as he recovered from illness.

    In this moving tribute, Bridgewater and her band of Stefon Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Chip Jackson, and Winard Harper serenade Dr. T on his 80th birthday with their version of his composition "If You Really Are Concerned." The piece comes from a suite, Peaceful Warrior, which the Atlanta Symphony commissioned Taylor to write in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

    Taylor's inspiration for the piece was a conversation he once overheard when a woman from Connecticut asked King what she could do to support the Civil Rights movement.

    "If you are really concerned, then you should show it and you can show it where you are," King told the woman. In many ways, this phrase encapsulates Taylor's own spirit of activism.

    The second verse goes like this:

    If you really are concerned, then speak up
    You can demonstrate your point of view
    But you've got to get involved
    With pressing problems closest to you
    If you want to change this world.

    To read more about Taylor's relationship with Dr. King, click here. To hear this audio, click on the link below, courtesy of JazzSet:

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