John Taylor
John Taylor

RIP: Jazz Pianist John Taylor

British jazz pianist John Taylor died suddenly Friday night while performing in Stephane Kerecki's band, after suffering a heart attack while performing at the Saveurs Jazz Festival in Segré, a village in western France. Taylor, who was 72.

Taylor was born in Manchester and first came to the attention of the jazz audience in 1969 when he partnered saxophonists Alan Skidmore and John Surman. He was later reunited with Surman in the short-lived group Morning Glory and in the 1980’s with Miroslav Vitous’s quartet.

In the early 1970s he was accompanist to the singer Cleo Laine and started to compose for his own sextet. John also worked with many visiting artists at Ronnie Scott’s club and later became a member of Ronnie’s quintet.

In 1977 he formed the trio Azimuth, with Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler. The trio made several recordings for ECM Records and performed in Europe, the US and Canada. Subsequently, Taylor has worked with groups led by Jan Garbarek, Enrico Rava, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz and Charlie Mariano as well as performing in duo contexts with Tony Coe and Steve Arguelles. Composing projects included a commission for the English choir Cantamus with Lee Konitz and Steve Arguelles and pieces for the Hannover Radio Orchestra with Stan Sulzmann.


John Taylor performing Kenny Wheeler's "Fedora".


John Taylor performing his own "3 Pieces from Ambleside Days."



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