by David Taylor
from The International Trombone Society Journal, Volume 31, No. 3
Gil Evans and I were walking in Venice one night. He told me that Duke Ellington told him: "If you keep yourself open, you never know who will come along, pull your coat, and take you left." This article is a personal journal about how I have always believed in this principle.
My copy of Luciano Berio's Sequenza V had been in the filing cabinet for literally 30 years before I attempted to play it. The piece was written for tenor trombone, had a very different performance concept, and somewhat of an "elite new music head." Deep down I had the awareness that it required a long-thread view and internal time performance skill that was overwhelming for me. I had taken classes with Berio, Hall Overton (arranger of Thelonious Monk's big band book) and composer Jacob Druckman at Juilliard in the '60s. Even though they gave me a comprehensive, different overview of classical and jazz harmony, the piece was not approachable. Sequenza remained one of those compositions that stayed in the back of my mind over the years, reminding me there was a composition with living structure available, and I wasn't taking advantage of it- a world-class piece that could be personalized, different every time, open to whimsy, and audience friendly.Do you remember the first through-composed music that really forced you out of yourself? Angels Of The Inmost Heavens for brass quintet by Lucia Dlugoszewski was the first for me. Although I must say, as a student, the performance that really encouraged me to have the love and guts to stick with the bass trombone was the solo in Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin. I can even remember the heroic feelings I had driving home to Brooklyn that night after the concert, tooling down the West Side Highway- radio blaring ROCK AND ROLL.
"Dave Taylor: Playing With Big Bands, Classical Orhestras, or Chamber Groups..."
"I don't think of myself as a jazz player or a classical playerr," said David Taylor, master of the bass trombone. "I hate to even think in terms of the bass trombone. It's like a painter with a brush or a writer with a pencil. It's a tool. Yeah," he laughed, "it's a hammer. Call me a hammer."
Edwards Pro Stop interview
Christan Griego: You just got back from Austria. Do you want to talk about that trip?David Taylor: Sure, I had a great time in Austria.
"An Appreciation and Interview"