Jazzmobile Tribute to Billy Taylor - Lincoln Center Damrosch Park - July 28, 2011
Dr. Billy Taylor was very much in the thick of jazz education, and was a guiding force in originating and sustaining Jazzmobile, for which I owe abundant thanks. So why not another “only in NYC” event in celebration of his life, to note and honor his passing? There were three pianos on the Damrosch stage, and for some tunes they were all played at once. The three main ivory-ticklers of the evening were Norman Simmons (filling in for the couldn’t-make-it Barry Harris), Eric Reed, and Christian Sands (a student and protegé of Dr. Taylor, and it showed!). Aaron Diehl made a brief appearance. The rhythm section of the night was rounded by everpresent Winard Harper on drums, Chip Jackson (from Taylor’s working trio) on bass; horn section of Cecil Bridgewater on trumpet (and also conductor/arranger for the gig), Tia Fuller on sax, Craig Harris on ‘bone. Melba Joyce sang a few tunes.