Jazz Portraits Q – T

Dr. Billy Taylor

The Ghosts of Harlem was issued in France in 1997 and, thanks to Ahmet Ertegun, an English language edition of the book appeared in 2009. I was able to add a few pictures to the new edition and was able to correct missing out on my friend, Billy Taylor, with the first one in 1997. I called Billy, told him what I wanted to do, which was to photograph him outside of the legendary Minton’s in Harlem. I knew and he remembered it was the first place he’d ever played in Harlem and he understood the historical significance. I drove to Riverdale, picked him up, drove downtown to 118th Street, the sun was right, Billy’s smile was infectious, his tie matched the color of the Minton’s sign and a terrific photograph was the result. I then turned around and took him back to Riverdale, returned to New York, processed the film and had the last portrait to include in the new edition of the book. He approved of the picture.