Thanks for stopping by my PIECE OFFERINGS page and taking the time to listen to and read about this project. On the most part, these are original compositions, so please keep in mind that the brief 2 minute snippets you hear simply can’t give you the full experience of the music we recorded. It’s like looking at only a small detail of an artist’s canvas, or reading only the first sentence of a poem, and then trying to understand the message that the painter or poet is trying to convey. I’m hoping you’ll take the next step, purchase PIECE OFFERINGS, and listen to it in its entirety until you become familiar with it. And then, my e-mail is available for you to use, so write me with your comments. I love hearing from you!
Originally, I’m from Wichita, where I began my musical studies. I relocated to Philadelphia and then later to Boston. During my 12 years in Philly, I was fortunate to work along side many notable drummers such as Mickey Roker, Philly Joe Jones, Butch Ballard, and Bobby Durham, and many other great players such as bassists Christian McBride, Jymie Merritt and Charles Fambrough, trumpeter John Swanna, and saxist Joe Ford, to name a few....what a great jazz legacy that town has! I am proud to have been a part of the Philadelphia jazz scene for those few years.
Now in Boston, I am currently performing and recording with some outstanding New England and east-coast jazz artists. Over the past fifteen years, I was involved with several recordings and toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and parts of Europe with Boston’s “Either/Orchestra”, which included playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland and a number of gigs with the legendary, alto saxophonist, John Tchicai out in California and here in Massachusetts. I performed and recorded “The John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, featuring Clay Osborne" cd, with the Providence, Rhode Island based big band; and accompanied vocalist Norah Jones with Boston’s “White Heat Swing Orchestra” at New York City’s Lincoln Center. I also recorded with several small groups, including one with the highly acclaimed drummer and teacher, Alan Dawson, on Leonard Hochman’s Brownstone recording, “Until Tomorrow”. This, unfortunately, was quite possibly Alan’s last recording before his passing, and was, sadly, Leonard’s second to last before he passed on as well.
PIECE OFFERINGS is my second recording as leader, but the first one to write and arrange for two horns. From the tender/delicate “Children Need a Song to Sing”, to the free-form/up-tempo “Breakdown!”; from the New Orleans styled/be-bopish “Embraceable Me”, to the funk/rockish “Freedom Jazz Dance”; from my solo piano/ballad performance of “No Tomorrow”, to a quintet/bossa rendition of “A Cosmic Drifter”, this date had me writing in a variety of styles, using not only the traditional trumpet/tenor sound, but utilizing the flugelhorn, soprano sax, and flute as well. All the tunes are my originals except for the beautiful but seldom recorded ballad, “Autumn Nocturne”, and Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance”, which I always loved and decided to do my own thing to.
Although this is an instrumental recording, I decided to include, in the booklet, lyrics written for three of my tunes. The first track, “Children Need a Song to Sing”, a dedication to Richard Forrest Woods, my first teacher and mentor, describes a child’s need for guidance. “A Cosmic Drifter” enters one into the magic state of dreaming. And “a unique love letter written to persuade the pursued”, briefly describes the lyric of “No Tomorrow”.
With me, are four remarkable musicians living in the Boston/New York areas. Both trumpeter Ken Cervenka and bassist Barry Smith are Berklee Music School professors, as well as performers in and around Boston and New York. Bruce Abbott, on reeds, is a highly respected player in Boston and Cape Cod, where he lives and teaches. And “driving the bus”, is the very creative and sensitive drummer, Take Toriyama, a Berklee graduate, now living in Brooklyn and performing all over the world. I wanted to include plenty of playing room for all these guys, and am glad I did, because their creative playing and interplay made these compositions come to life! I know you’ll agree.
I’d like to share some quotes I've received about this recording which I'm quite proud of, and which just might help persuade you to purchase a copy of PIECE OFFERINGS, (and thanks again!):
“I absolutely love it.”
“It’s a real work of art.”
“…the original compositions and solos are first rate.”
“From any standpoint-[the] playing, the compositions, the arranging-it truly shines.”
"...it's very good...you really give your patriots room to stretch, and that's remarkable, actually."
"I have been listening to your album; the compositions are strong, and the band is so together. Really enjoying it!"
"Abbott and Cervenka display lovely tonalities on their horns, and Taylor's touch is beautiful....for me,the high point of this CD comes when the quintet takes on a well-established standard, 'Autumn Nocturne', and gently explores it." (Michael Rosenstein, in a review for Cadence Magazine....August, 2007)