RIP John Taylor (1942-2015)

John Taylor

It has been announced that the he very great pianist John Taylor, a towering figure in European jazz, died last night, Friday 17th July, He had a sudden heart attack while performing in Stephane Kerecki’s band at the French Saveurs Jazz Festival. He was resuscitated on the spot but died later in hospital. He has been a respected, loved, hugely influential figure over half a century, both as player and teacher. He has recently been playing as well as ever, and had a busy schedule planned for the autumn. He will be sorely missed. In sadness.

Correction 20th July. According to the newspaper Ouest-France quoting Carol Taylor, JT passed away on Saturday 18th.

LINKS: John Taylor website
BBC 70th Birthday celebration in 2012
Interview with Julian Arguelles about his duo with John Taylor
John Taylor’s contribution to the Kenny Wheeler Memorial Service


Tribute from Simon Purcell
Guardian obituary by John Fordham
Obituary/Tribute  from Peter Hum in Ottawa
Tribute in Italian from Pierluigi Balducci
Obituary at JazzTimes
‘A Farewell’ from Tom Hewson
Tribute from Pablo Held (in German)
Message from ECM Records
Youtube: Extract from the set on 17th July
Tribute from Ethan Iverson (h/t Martin Speake)

Categories: Uncategorized

8 replies »

  1. I have just been looking at some of the French reports. After the quartet had completed most of their concert of French film music, John Taylor went off stage during the trio number 'Shoot the Piano Player' (from the 1960 Truffaut film) before coming back on to perform a duet with the bass player, towards the end of which he slowly collapsed over the piano keyboard.

    Fate writes some very strange scripts sometimes. 'So it goes,' to quote that noted chronicler of strangeness Kurt Vonnegut Jr (dedicatee of John's album Requiem for a Dreamer).

    This is a huge loss to the music world. I mostly saw John play with Kenny Wheeler, until the day came when he was playing for Kenny Wheeler at that deeply moving memorial service last year. RIP.


  2. This is a real shock. I had hoped to see him with the Kerecki quartet. His duo album with Kerecki, Patience (2011) is one of my absolute favourites, ever. I really regret never having got to hear his trio with Palle Danielsson and Martin France. They opened for Jack De Johanette in Hamburg a few years ago. I was all set to go but it sold out in no time.


  3. A very great loss to the jazz world. I saw him for the last time at last year's memorial concert to the great Kenny Wheeler and John's emotional eulogy was extremely heart-rending. Gone far too soon, RIP John.


  4. Very sad news. I've just picked it up while listening to Jazz Record Requests on BBC Radio 3, and as a tribute the programme is playing a piece with Taylor and Wheeler together. He was a great pianist in that very English pastoral tradition.


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