Billy Taylor

The Original Jazz Score of "Kwamina"

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AllMusic Review by

This is an unusual LP in that Billy Taylor is focusing on music written by Richard Adler for Kwamina, a play that was scheduled to open on Broadway about a month following the 1961 studio sessions heard on this disc. With arrangements by Jimmy Jones, an all-star supporting cast composed of some of the top jazz musicians of the era (including Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Wess, George Duvivier, and Osie Johnson to name only a few), and Taylor's own formidable chops on piano, this seems like a promising record. Unfortunately, none of Adler's songs are particularly memorable in their own right, and though Jones' charts caused him some sleepless nights prior to the recording sessions, the music never seriously grabs the listener's attention, though the musicians are playing up to the level one expects of them. Serious Billy Taylor fans will undoubtedly still want to search for this obscure, long unavailable record.

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