41: Creed Taylor, Record Producer at the crossroad of history and good taste
For forty years, Creed Taylor was one of a small handful of jazz record producers and label managers who shaped and defined the sound of jazz recording. Through his work with the Bethlehem, ABC, Impulse!, Verve, and CTI labels, he produced classic albums for countless artists. He introduced us to “The Girl From Ipanema”, “Mister Magic” and showed us “The Blues and the Abstract Truth”.
He produced both hits and critically acclaimed albums, and his sound defined an era. He made the history (for us to study), set the bar (for us to dance on), and paved the road (that many are still on). Needless to say, I was very excited to talk to him!
Which two records did he bring when he went off to war? What were his favorite career moments? What was it like to be in the room with Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard or Antonio Carlos Jobim? What was the record business like in the 1950s?
We met at his apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan and talked about some of his most memorable experiences. One idea that emerged from our conversation is that you can’t always tell who a person is from the music they make, and people are not always who we imagine them to be.