Eugene Marlow | Taylored for Billy (Live)

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Taylored for Billy (Live)

by Eugene Marlow

This is a live performance, big band version of Eugene Marlow's original piece for small ensemble composed for and dedicated to his "jazz father" Dr. Billy Taylor.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Big Band
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1. Taylored for Billy (Live)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Taylored for Billy” was written as an homage to Dr. Billy Taylor, principal founder of JazzMobile that continues to this day and who worked for many years with master conguero Candido and for a time with the Machito Mambo Band.

“Taylored for Billy” started out in life as a solo piano piece. In 2005 composer Eugene Marlow decided to orchestrate the composition for quintet as the opening track for his inaugural album “A Summer Afternoon With You” (MEII Enterprises 2005). Mike Mossman (trumpet) and Bobby Porcelli (alto saxophone) take the melodic lead. Chip Jackson—Billy Taylor’s longtime bassist—also appears on the album.

The next year band leader George Gee encouraged Marlow to re-orchestrate the work for big band. George Gee’s ensemble premiered this version at Swing 46 (New York City) in 2006. In 2011 jazz piano virtuoso Cyrus Chestnut and his trio performed “Taylored for Billy” at the Montreal Jazz Festival. And in October 2012 the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra—under the direction of 7X Grammy nominee Maestro Bobby Sanabria—did the honors by giving the big band version an appropriate Latin-jazz feel.

Marlow points to Dr. Taylor—who passed in December 2010—as his “jazz father.” Says Marlow: “Dr. Billy Taylor's influence on my professional life cannot be under-estimated. Billy was my ‘jazz father’: mentor, a friend, and, most definitely, a role model. In many ways paralleling Leonard Bernstein's eclectic ‘my work is in music’ statement, Billy, seemingly without much effort, evolved as a jazz musician, a composer, arranger, band leader, radio producer, record producer, concert producer, author, journalist, and, perhaps most importantly, an educator.

“He was a world-class statesman for jazz. Billy's contribution to the elevation of jazz as America's classical music is enormous. His personal presentation and performance demeanor gave jazz a much needed classier and distinguished image. He was always well-dressed. He was an articulate, yet gentle man who in a quiet but determined way advanced jazz as an important contribution to world culture. His importance in this context must be recognized. For a long while jazz musicians were perceived as loose living, drug addicted, hard-drinking people. To a degree this perception was well deserved. Billy, on the other hand, was a class act who demonstrated that jazz was a music and ethos to be respected.”

Eugene Marlow is an award-winning composer/arranger, producer, presenter, performer, author/journalist, and educator. Dr. Marlow has written over 250 classical and jazz compositions for solo instruments, jazz and classical chamber groups, and jazz big band. Under his MEII Enterprises indie label, he has produced over two dozen critically acclaimed CDs of his own original compositions and arrangements, as well as those of other jazz and classical musicians.

Dr. Marlow is founder of The Heritage Ensemble, a quintet that records and performs his original compositions and arrangements in various jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and classical styles. Bobby Sanabria is a member of this quintet. Marlow received a 2010 “Creative Connections” grant from Meet the Composer for his work with The Heritage Ensemble.

Marlow’s big band arrangement of his composition “Broken Heart”--originally orchestrated for piano and alto sax that appears on “A Summer Afternoon With You” (MEII Enterprises 2005)—appears on Bobby Sanabria’s Grammy-nominated album “Multiverse” (Jazzheads 2012).

Marlow is senior co-chair of the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert series at Baruch College (The City University of New York), that has just completed its 25th season, where he teaches courses in media and culture. Author of 11 books and 400+ articles, he has drafted a book on jazz in China. He is a 2010 recipient of the James W. Carey award for journalism excellence from the Media Ecology Association for his numerous contributions to www.jazz.com.

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