Legendary jazz pioneer Creed Taylor passed away today as confirmed by Verve Label Group, he was 93. He leaves behind a storied legacy in the genre of jazz working on hundreds of works from the likes of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Stan Getz. His career spans over 40 years and his name is cemented as one of the pioneers of the Bossa Nova sound being popularized.
Creed Taylor was raised in a small town in Virginia and went on to study psychology at Duke University while playing the trumpet in the jazz ensemble. Shortly after his time at the college, he moved to New York in hopes of becoming a producer. He landed a job at Bethlehem Records where he recorded and produced his first record with vocalist Chris Connor. The album was a huge success at the label and launched Taylor’s career, he spent two years at Bethlehem recording the likes of Herbie Mann and Charlie Shavers.
He then moved over to ABC-Paramount in 1956 where after four years he founded his own imprint called Impulse! Records. The label has become known for signing a young John Coltrane and giving the now iconic saxophonist a platform to launch his historic career. Impulse is now a household name for Jazz nerds due to their wildly successful albums with Ray Charles and Gil Evans. In 1960 he moved to Verve Records to work with fammed composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, their work together would bring the Bossa Nova sound to the states.
The name Creed Taylor is now directly related to innovation in the genre of jazz and his legacy lives on through the iconic music he had a hand in creating.