Bar code: 8427328611220
Billy Taylor (1921-2010) was, of course, one of the most technically gifted jazz pianists, and he managed to impress, displaying his great potential on numerous occasions. The fact that he was classically trained was not a handicap. His intelligent, musical approach was a welcome respite from much of the poorly executed performance technique of the day. That “Soul” music was no stranger to him is evident in his rendition of 'That’s Where It Is.' And, as the opening title, 'Warming Up,' intended to emphasize, and others like 'Easy Like and Coffee Break' in particular demonstrate, there is also a warmth and emotion very substantial mixed with maturity and craftsmanship -- all of which add up easily to enough reasons to explain Taylor’s enduring and widespread popularity.
"Custom Taylored" is a clean, well-executed album, offering a dozen examples of Billy Taylor’s tasteful and ever-changing piano talent. The delicate instrumental balance of the trio is another characteristic of Billy Taylor’s perspicacity. The interplay of bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ray Mosca has been carefully nurtured into a powerful rhythmic mould. The synthesis of the trio is a joy to hear.
Billy Taylor showed his most restrained and suggestive moment in "Uptown" recorded live at the Prelude in New York on February 4, 1960. The album title refers not only to the 129th Street location of the club, on the outskirts of Harlem, but also to prevailing musical atmosphere. This was the performance of his new trio with bassist Henry Grimes replacing Earl May and drummer Ray Mosca on the drum stool long held by Ed Thigpen. Both new sidemen are firmly and cohesively blended to the leader and to each other, keeping the jazz pulse throbbing.