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Freddy Taylor

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Freddy Taylor, also Freddie Taylor, was an American jazz singer, trumpeter, dancer and bandleader of swing.

Life and work

Taylor began his career as a dancer around New York’s Cotton Club in the 1930s. He came to Europe with Lucky Millinder’s orchestra in 1933, where he worked with his own formations from then on. On the trumpet he received lessons from Bill Coleman. Charlie Johnson, Chester Lanier, Fletcher Allen and the guitarist Oscar Alemán also played in his quintet. Taylor is best remembered for his recording sessions with Django Reinhardt, during which he sang the jazz standards “I’se Muggin'”, “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love”, ” Georgia on My Mind ” and “Nagasaki ” in May and October 1936.[1]

The year before, he recorded for the Oriole label (“Blue Drag”; ” Viper’s Dream”) with his band, Freddy Taylor & His Swing Men from Harlem. In Paris he later took over the management of a club in Montmartre; with his own group he also performed in Rotterdam. In 1937 he led an orchestra at the Coliseum that included Louis Vola, Freddy Johnson, and Noël Chiboust: Taylor returned to the United States in the 1940s and continued to perform until the late 1960s.

Discographical notes

  • Django Reinhardt: Americans in Paris (Naxos, 1935-1937)
  • Django Reinhardt: Swing Guitars (Naxos, 1936-1937)
  • Django Reinhardt: With Vocals (Naxos, 1933-1941)

Sources

Notes

  1. Dietrich Schulz-Köhn witnessed Reinhardt’s recording session with the singer: “Freddy Taylor sang some evergreens, but he didn’t know the lyrics to ‘Georgia on My Mind’. Nobody knew it or could get it until I suggested that I might be able to do it. Seemingly a paradoxical situation, a German in a French studio writing down the lyrics of an American hit recorded for English account (the His Master’s Voice) (…).” Cited in Schmitz/Maier, Django Reinhardt, p. 134.