Arthur S. Taylor Jr. (April 6, 1929 – February 6, 1995) was an American jazz drummer, who “helped define the sound of modern jazz drumming”. As a teenager, Taylor joined a local Harlem band that featured Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean and Kenny Drew. After playing in the bands of Howard McGhee (1948), Coleman Hawkins (1950–51), Buddy DeFranco (1952), Bud Powell (1953), George Wallington and Art Farmer (1954), Powell and Wallington again (1954–55), Gigi Gryce and Donald Byrd (1956), he formed his own group, Taylor’s Wailers. Between 1957 and 1963, he toured with Donald Byrd, recorded with Miles Davis, Gene Ammons and John Coltrane, and performed with Thelonious Monk; Taylor also was a member of the original Kenny Dorham Quartet of 1957.

In 1963, Taylor moved to Europe, where he lived mainly in France and Belgium for 20 years, playing with local groups and jazz musicians such as Johnny Griffin, John Bodwin, and with travelling American musicians, such as Woody Shaw during the latter’s tenure in Paris. Taylor also studied drums in Paris with Kenny Clarke. He returned to the United States to help his mother, who was ill. He continued freelancing after returning to the United States, and in 1993 organized a second band called Taylor’s Wailers. He died aged 65 in Beth Israel Hospital, Manhattan, in 1995.

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