Louis Van Taylor's musical influences can be traced to his parent’s appreciation of jazz, ranging from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Dizzy Gillespie. Louis spent his first eleven years of growth in the private and public schools of Salt Lake City, Utah, enjoying the sounds of classical music and his father’s choice of Miles Davis’ "Sketches of Spain" and Cannonball's and John Coltrane's duet recordings chiming throughout the family's home. Though interested in learning the violin, upon leaving Utah and arriving in Los Angeles during the late 60’s, Louis Taylor Sr. encouraged his son to pursue a wind instrument. His junior high school teacher at Foshay, Mrs. Bicknell, provided her students an opportunity to try out all the instruments: woodwinds, brass and percussion, before choosing the instrument of their liking. Louis’ choice was the B-flat soprano clarinet and in less than two weeks the bass clarinet. After a brief stay in Los Angeles the Taylor Family moved to Pasadena, where Louis upon hearing a friend’s rendition of "Wade in The Water," on the tenor saxophone, made a change. From stage bands to a top-40 band, Louis abandoned the bass clarinet for the tenor, nurtured by the sounds Eddie Harris, John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine, Wilton Felder, Junior Walker, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Eric Dolphy and the like. With private study and mentorship from Warne Marsh, the LB West Coffee House early morning jams with drummer Candy Finch, Charles Owens, Bill Greene, Buddy Collete, and a dear friend Gary Hammon, the lure of mastery was on. He attended CSLA for his bachelor degree in Music and private study through the Berkley School of Music Correspondence course while a member of the Ray Charles orchestra. Now adding all the saxophones and woodwinds to his arsenal, Louis has been much sought after with the likes of his first professional job with the Temptations featuring Dennis Edwards and Otis Williams, a twenty year association and employment with Ray Charles, to the Gap Band, Kool and the Gang, Gerald Wilson, Jimmie and Jeannie Cheatham, Maxine Weldon, Charles Wright, Eric Benet, Carl Thomas and many esteemed others.
For series information visit: www.altadenasheriffs.blogspot.com or call; 626-296-2103