29 December 2010

Billy Taylor

I don't have much to say about Billy Taylor, who died yesterday. But his importance in the development of jazz studies as an academic discipline cannot be understated. His writing on the subject and work in promoting jazz as art to be taken seriously was crucial to the transformation of the perception of jazz (beginning after World War II with important antecedents from the swing era) from popular dance music to an art form. However, Taylor did not fully subscribe to that dichotomy, often finding a point in his music and writing between art and entertainment that disappointed few.

Below, Taylor discusses cool jazz in the 1950s miniseries The Subject Is Jazz:

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