Billy Taylor

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1950-1952 Review

by Steve Leggett

This second volume covering Billy Taylor's pre-Prestige recordings opens with four sides cut for Brunswick Records in 1950, followed by eight tracks done for Atlantic, and concluding with an early LP of Cuban-inspired jazz, all of which will be of interest to collectors. Taylor's bop-inflected piano style remains elegant throughout, always with a veneer of swinging brightness, and two of the best pieces here, the self-penned "Double Duty" and "Good Groove," show an acute awareness of both time and space, areas Taylor would go on to explore with his subsequent trios.

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