Creed Taylor in 1979

Today marks what would have been the 95th birthday of Creed Taylor, a producer celebrated for his subtle yet impactful influence in the jazz music industry. Despite facing significant challenges, including CTI’s bankruptcy in 1978, Taylor’s dedication to crossover music has left a lasting legacy, exemplified by his nurturing of artists like Wes Montgomery. His approach, blending commercial elements with jazz, aimed to broaden the genre’s appeal without compromising its essence, a reflection of his deep commitment to both the art and its artists.

A large library of vicnyl records in sleeves on shelves.

The 2024 Reissue List

The post discusses various 2024 vinyl reissues of Creed Taylor productions, spotlighting artists like Idris Muhammad, Nina Simone, and Stan Getz among others. Each entry details the vinyl quality, special editions, and availability across different regions, with mentions of both European and U.S. sources. The author, not owning most releases, encourages reader input to keep the music legacy alive. Links to past posts on older reissues are provided for readers seeking more information.

On This Day: Getz/Gilberto

Yep, 10-days late, I didn’t plan for this to become the definitive guide to Getz/Gilberto, maybe it isn’t but here it is. I had the audio recordings to add next week.

On March 18th, 1964, the Getz/Gilberto album was released, marking a significant moment in the history of jazz and bossa nova. Produced by Creed Taylor, it featured Stan Getz, João Gilberto, and introduced Astrud Gilberto with the hit “The Girl From Ipanema.” The album became a cultural phenomenon, earning considerable press, books, controversy, and solidified bossa nova’s popularity in the U.S. Its significance in the music industry is undeniable, highlighted by its inclusion in a film and unique archival materials.

Grover Washington, Jr – Kudu Live!

In April 1973, Grover Washington Jr. was preparing for the big stage at the 20th Newport Jazz Festival with performances at Boston’s Jazz Workshop. This live broadcast set includes early collaboration with bassist Charles Fambrough. Washington, a soul-jazz pioneer, filled in for Hank Crawford on “Inner City Blues” and had just recorded “Soul Box” featuring top jazz musicians. The album’s release coincided with the Newport Festival. Following the festival, he continued to perform, including a notable CTI All-Stars concert in Boston.

Jim Beard and the Keyboard In the Sky

Back right around the time life was returning to the new normal after the great intermission, I made contact with Jim Beard again and offered him a bottle of his favorite bourbon to finally agree on a date for an interview. Jim had plans to tour with Steely Dan, and I was busy with life. We exchanged a few more emails, but the interview never happened. Sadly, it’s been posted on social media via friends and contacts that Jim passed away last week.

Thumb Produces Green for Wes Montgomery

On this day in 1923, jazz guitarist #WesMontgomery was born, known for his successful crossover from jazz to popular music. Before his death, he played a multi-night gig at the Living Room in Cincinnati, revealing a lucrative shift to commercial music without forgoing his jazz roots, supported by a quintet featuring his brothers.

His innovative playing, transcending genre boundaries, appealed to varied music followers, cementing his legacy. Wes Montgomery’s defining success and distinctive style were celebrated up until his performances just months before he passed away.

Bob James Live!

I missed attending the Biamp Portland Jazz Festival but was updated by Kim Paris with a review, photos, and a clip of Bob James’s performance. Kim also shared a 1985 live recording of a Bob James concert at Montreux, available for streaming and download.

Pop And Jazz Jocks On The Radio

Billboard Magazine’s October 12th, 1963 issue explores the fusion of jazz with popular music, highlighting Creed Taylor’s impact on presenting jazz artists to the pop scene. Here I have two Bill Coss authored features on this topic. Discussed is the trend of pop jockeys blending more jazz into their shows as audiences become sophisticated listeners, while jazz deejays remain cautious of trend slavery in pop jazz. An spoken audio texts are included as an experiment.