• Taylor's Take Seven: Bill and Diz

    July 24, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: billy taylor
    Bill and Diz
    Bill remembers Diz

    The following is the seventh in our series of tributes to Dr. Billy Taylor, part of our birthday 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.

    For his retirement concert at the Kennedy Center on March 31, 2005, Doctor T characteristically chose to honor someone else: in this case his close friend John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie. And, as his special guest trumpeter Jon Faddis  notes from the stage, Taylor does not sound like a retiree; he sounds lively and delighted to play.

    In the concert, Taylor invites Faddis to share the stage to play some of Gillespie's most memorable compositions. Taylor and Gillespie shared a passion for Latin music, and Dr. T credits Gillespie for moving jazz closer to its counterparts in Latin America and for advancing jazz harmony.

    Gillespie compositions are the heart of this set. Then, at the end, Taylor closes with "Take the 'A' Train," played very slowly, at the tempo he discovered when he played the tune at composer Billy Strayhorn's funeral.

    To hear the audio from this performance, click on the link below. Enjoy!

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