Creed Taylor, an influential force in jazz who oversaw the recording of “The Girl from Ipanema” and worked with Ray Charles and John Coltrane, died Monday. He was 93.
His son, John W. Taylor, said his father died in Winkelhaid, Germany, according to The Associated Press. The cause of death was heart failure after he had suffered a stroke.
“Creed Taylor was one of the most incredible producers of our time,” jazz guitarist George Benson said in a statement Wednesday. “Most of all, he was my friend and I will miss him.”
Creed Taylor was raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, “two mountains” away from the folk music icons, the Carter Family. He founded Impulse! and CTI Records and helped discover Herbie Mann, according to the AP. He produced early music by Benson, Quincy Jones and Grover Washington Jr., and also produced or released albums by Coltrane, Charles, Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery,
Taylor played trumpet in college, inspired by hearing Harry James and Dizzy Gillespie, according to KNKX.
Moving to New York City after his military service, Taylor worked as head of Artists and Repertoire at Bethlehem Records. He moved on to join ABC-Paramount, where he founded Impulse! He signed saxophonist John Coltrane to the label, KNKX reported.
In 1964, Taylor produced “Getz/Gilberto,” a million-selling album that remained on the Billboard charts for nearly two years, according to the AP. “Getz/Gilberto” featured jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Brazilian songwriter and musician Antonio Carlos Jobim and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto. “Getz/Gilberto” received four Grammys, including album of the year and record of the year, for its most famous track, “The Girl from Ipanema.”
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