Art Taylor was one of the great jazz drummers of the 1950s and 1960s helping to define modern jazz drumming. Taylor recorded for both the Blue Note and Prestige labels and played with many of the top names in jazz including Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. He also led his own group, known as Taylor's Wailers. In 1977, Art Taylor published the book "Notes & Tones," a series of candid interviews with jazz musicians. Taylor died in New York in 1995 at the age of 65.
Art Taylor lived and worked primarily in Europe from 1963 until the 1980s after becoming disillusioned with music and politics in the US. Taylor was a professional musician for over 10 years before he learned to read music. In his later years Art Taylor hired and performed with younger musicians giving them valuable lessons establishing rapport with an audience.
Art Taylor was born in 1929 and raised in New York City. Growing up father took him to hear musicians such as Chick Webb, Billie Holiday and Buddy Rich. After hearing Big Sid Catlett Taylor decided that he wanted to be a drummer. He began playing in the New York be-bop scene as a teenager with Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean and Kenny Drew. His first professional gig was with Howard McGhee in 1948.