Billy Taylor

Music Keeps Us Young

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It is extremely difficult to believe that Billy Taylor was 76 at the time of this frequently lively recording. For the trio set with bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Steve Johnson, Taylor performs five originals and six jazz standards with creativity and swing. The repertoire (which has among its highlights "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," and a 10 1/2-minute exploration of "Body and Soul," "Naima," Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring," and the pianist's most famous composition, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free") is generally boppish, spontaneous and quite accessible, mixing together medium-tempo romps with ballads. Although always a bit underrated as a pianist, the seemingly ageless Taylor had by 1996 been recording for over 52 years!

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