Thomas E. Taylor, Jr.



Thomas E. Taylor, Jr : Drum and Vocal

Herman Burney, Bass
Harry Pickens, Piano
Ira Wiggins, Sax and Flute
Ray Codrington, Trumpet
Fred Wesley, Trombone

Steve Haines, Bass
Jud Franklin, Guitar

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Herman Burney, Bass: Herman "Johnson" is one of the Nations best and most solid acoustic Bassist. He has worked with Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, Freddie Cole and many more great Jazz artists. I have known Herman for more than 10 years and I always look forward to our playing and fellowshipping together. He is a great mind and musician! Thank you very much for swingin' me in the ground on this CD.

Harry Pickens, Piano: Harry "Cotton" is such a wonderful man and musician. He can take you so many places musically. I only wonder what music we don't hear that's inside of him?! Harry has been a mainstay in the jazz education field with Jamey Aebersold. The Aebersold summer jazz camp is where we met. Before one of his "Late night Lectures" on being the best musician you can be, Harry played a few tunes. Then he went into his piano impersonations! Man what a treat!! After hearing him slide into his Erroll Garner bag, I was hooked! I knew we had to record together, I just so happens, I asked him to record with me first! You helped me get "Centered" for the music!

Ira Wiggins, Sax and Flute: Ira is one of the best kept players on the East Coast!! I guess so many people regard and respect him for building of a Dynasty of Jazz at North Carolina Central University. His playing surpasses his teaching abilities. He is equally warm and inviting on flute as well as sax. Thank you for "spring boarding" my teaching career and bring that big sound to the record date!

Ray Codrington, Trumpet: Ray is a Jazz legend hiding in our quaint state of North Carolina. Many great young jazz trumpeters are searching for him when they visit the state. They want to meet him, get a lesson, and just hear him play. He has played with almost everybody! Thank you Ray for playing some of the best solos since Miles Davis!

Fred Wesley, Trombone: Hit me Fred! One of the most entertaining and educational books I've ever read! I'm still pinching myself because the GREAT man of the Trombone agreed to play on my CD!! If you don't know who Fred Wesley is pick up any James Brown or Parlament Funkadelic CD with Trombone. That's Fred. He is the most soulful Trombonist ever!!! He's swung with the Great Count Basie and with Maceo Parker, and believe it or not, He even let me play while he was swingin'! Thank you again!

Steve Haines, Bass: Steve was truly a God Send! At a time when I seriously considered giving up music, Steve Haines came to Greensboro to head the Miles Davis Jazz studies program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We met there and struck up what I think is a personal and musical friendship that will last forever! Steve is one of the most enjoyable musicians I've ever played with. He makes all music good music. Thank you for keeping me sane for the last few years!

Jud Franklin, Guitar: Jud is the smoothest jazz guitarist I've ever heard. I tell many people, "The thing I love about Jud is he plays the guitar like a pianist, not a guitarist". He is one of the most creative musicians I know. I remember the first trio gig Steve, Jud, and I played; I told both of them that we needed to play together as much as possible and I wanted to record this group and the special music we were making. To hear him tell it "He's fortunate to play with us". But I think we are fortunate to finally have Jud recorded forever.

This CD is a coming together of many of my favorite musicians to play with. I am very thankful that they took the time and energy to make my "chicken scratch" and weird ideas and made music out of it.
I owe you all BIG!