It’s with more than a hint of sadness that I’m continuing a tradition originally launched in 1968, Creed Taylor month.
This year, in fact this week, marks the first time since the legendary producer Creed Taylor passed on to the great studio in the sky. I do plan to continue Creed Taylor month in future years. My prior Creed Taylor month posts are here for 2020, which explains what is behind Creed Taylor month; and here for 2021.
For Creed Taylor month 2022 I’m going to complete my CTI laserdisc project on youtube and do a weekly mix of “CTI: On CD Only” tracks. Here is the first.
Press Play and read on. This mix will also be available on youtube, and this post will be updated at that time. The playlist is below.
In the past few days, I’ve read a lot of social media posts, and obituaries about Creed’s passing. For a man who has largely been ignored for the last 15-years by the music and media industry, a lot of people apparently suddenly cared. What became obvious though, was that most had no clue about the man’s music productions after the bankruptcy of CTI in 1978, following legal battles with Motown, Warner Brothers, Columbia, George Benson, Bob James and Seawind.
It generally went exactly how I predictedCreed Taylor Has Left The Studio – Creed Taylor Produced (ctproduced.com). I submitted a few corrections, including one to NPR, which they acceptedCreed Taylor, legendary producer who guided and expanded jazz, dead at 93 : NPR. I also reported a whole set of youtube videos which claimed to be about Creed’s passing but were nothing of the sort, they were generally short videos asking you to click offsite links where were either spam or worse, phishing websites. Apparently, there is a whole genre of fake obituary sites on youtube. Please report if you come across any.
- ctproduced mix intro – Phil Ramone, Bill Evans – Creed Taylor
- Fanfare For The Common Man – from the CTI 1991 CD and Laserdisc, “Music On The Edge”Chroma – Music On The Edge | Releases | Discogs. Chroma were the then CTI All-Stars co-produced by Jim Beard. This album was recorded and filmed live in concert in Tokyo on October 25th and 26th, 1990 at Gotanda U-Port Kan-i Hoken Hall.
- Broski – Charles Fambrough. From the CTI 1991 CD “The Proper Angle”Charles Fambrough – The Proper Angle | Releases | Discogs. Includes both Brandford and Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrave and others. Charles Fambrough left us all too soon.
- Mexico – Jack Wilkins. From the little known Creed Taylor label, Green Street Records. This was one of two Wilkins vinyl albums released in 1983, “Captain Blued”Jack Wilkins – Captain Blued | Releases | Discogs. The track was also the title track of a Wilkins compilation CTI 1992 CD that featured tracks from both albums.
- Calling You – Ted Rosenthal. Title track of another 1992 CTI CD release, “Calling You”Ted Rosenthal – Calling You | Releases | Discogs. Arrangements by Jim Pugh, outstanding roster of then contemporary jazz sidemen including 2022 NEA Jass Master, Donald Harrison, Eddie Gomez, Kevin Eubanks, Bobby Hutcherson and the essential CTI horns man, Lew Soloff.
- Whatever It Takes – Faith Howard and Visions. Very limited 1996 CD “He’s Got Everything”Faith Howard And Visions – He’s Got Everything (2004, CD) – Discogs. Ask any knowledgeable CTI listener and they’ll tell you that the Salvation label was created as a gospel label. Accordingly, this was a 1996 Salvation release along with a 4-track CD single. There was a much more widely distributed CTI CD made in Germany for the European market. This album though was produced by Dorothy Norwood and includes the Vision Choral Ministry and Minister Cedric Ford.
- All Blues – Jim Hall. There are 3x different edits of this Miles Davis composition which first appeared on the 1982 CTI album “Studio Trieste”Chet Baker / Jim Hall / Hubert Laws – Studio Trieste | Discogs which included Chet Baker. This version is from the 1992 CTI CD by Jim Hall “Youkali” Jim Hall – Youkali | Releases, Reviews, Credits | Discogs and includes Grover Washington Jr. Many of the original 1982 recording artists were edited out or overdubbed. “All Blues” was of course the title track of Ron Carter’s 1974 CTI album, with sax by Joe Henderson. Washington’s interpretation is well worth the 10-mins 20-seconds.
- Caribe – Rythmstick. From the 1992 CD and Laserdisc that led off a short series of CTI produced laserdiscs. You can watch the film on the ctproduced YouTube Channel and the back story to this recording with Dizzy GillespieOn This Day: Rhythmstick – Creed Taylor Produced (ctproduced.com).
- Palm Sunday – Thus Spoke Z. Pretty much unknown and last album issued on a KUDU, a 1996 CD in co-produced by Terry Silverlight(R&B Drummer, sometime singer, arranger and keyboards), guitarist Chuck Loeb and studio engineer Adam Kudzin. The album was produced by Creed and son John Taylor who was involved with most of the 90’s CTI release in one role or another. This album suffered from the lack of money to promote and distribute it. With that it could have heralded in another era of CTI during the so called “acid jazz” wave. Features both Donald Harrison and Jim Hall and remarkably, Grover Washington Jr. As well as being the most commercially successful of the KUDU artists, Washington recorded on both the first, and this the last KUDU album.
That’s a rap for the first “CTI: On CD only mixes” for Creed Taylor month 2022. What did you think? favorite tracks, tracks you’ve never heard before?
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p.s. Many of the CTI tracks from this period can be found on a 3x CD release “Jazz Ballads – After Midnight” issued by the Hamburg based, TIM The International Music Company AG, on their label Trilogie. Other tracks are released in their Millenium artist compilation series. Creed Taylor had long standing distribution agreements in Germany that went back to the 1960’s and many contacts there. Creed died in Germany visiting family on August 22nd, 2022.