What does it sound like?:
A lazy comparison often made for Mike Taylor is “the Syd Barrett of Jazz”, usually with reference to his LSD-assisted mental breakdown and subsequent demise. The real similarity is that both were true originals, ploughing a unique furrow in their chosen field and leaving behind frustratingly little recorded evidence of their undoubted talents — in Taylor’s case, just two studio albums, recently joined by Mandala, a live recording from early 1965, and now this.
Preparation is a rehearsal tape made by the Quartet’s bass player, Tony Reeves. It was the final rehearsal for what would prove to be Taylor’s closest brush with fame: providing support for Ornette Coleman on his first appearance outside the US. The set consists of four pieces that would subsequently appear on Pendulum plus two more Taylor originals and the jazz standard Autumn Leaves. It’s all fascinating stuff for the converted; but for the merely curious I would advise awaiting Pendulum’s re-release as part of the Decca’s British Jazz Explosion series.
I find it very hard to describe Taylor’s music to the uninitiated. The best I can come up with is: try to imagine jazz if it came out of a European classical tradition. Musicians he worked with have recollected him stating something to that effect. His influences are hard to detect, but Coltrane, Bill Evans and Horace Silver are definitely in there, along with a lot of classical music.
Anyway, there’s stuff on You Tube if I’ve made anyone inclined to give it a go.
What does it all *mean*?
I’ll let Graham Bond have the final word: “Mike was the wellspring. Everyone dug him.”
Goes well with…
Sunny autumn days with a breeze wafting in through the French windows, a glass of something cold and very definitely alcoholic and a contemplative mood.
17 September 2021.
Might suit people who like…
1960s British Jazz, true innovators