Creed Taylor Documentary Now In Production

The Snapshots Foundation just announced a documentary now in production on the legendary 91 year old American record producer Creed Taylor.

From the website: "Few individuals in the music business can be credited as true innovators who moved whole genres of music forward.From introducing the world to the sound of Bossa Nova with ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ (Getz/Gilberto), to founding Impulse! Records where John Coltrane created ‘A Love Supreme’ and merging pop and jazz grooves at CTI Records, Creed Taylor’s name has stood for quality and vision.

The new documentary film will shed light on one of the most unique and illusive figures in American music, with special appearances and performances by premier artists. The Creed Taylor documentary is co-sponsored by The Herb Alpert Foundation. Please visit our Facebook page for updates on this ongoing production."

I was asked in the spring of 2019 to participate in this documentary by bringing to Rudy Van Gelder's Englewood Cliffs studio a stack of Creed Taylor produced LPs and talking about them on camera. Taylor's career included stints at Bethlehem Records, ABC-Paramount, Impulse! (which he founded), Verve, A&M and of course CTI Records.

You never know what makes the cut and what ends up on the cutting room floor (figuratively speaking since it was a video shoot). The day previous to the shoot the documentary's producer Jonathan Bewley visited with Larry Young, Jr. (I think he's actually the late organist's grandson, since Young the organist was also "Jr." and he died in 1978 at age 37). It was a thrill to sit him down and play for him "Zoltan" from the Music Matters double 45rpm edition of Unity.

Creed Taylor promo from The Snapshots Foundation on Vimeo.

Steve Arnold's picture

Thank you for posting this Michael - can't wait to see. What a life, and contribution to music. As you said, his background spans so many genres, influential record labels, productions, etc. I cherish my original CTI vinyl copies, mostly all of which are in mint/nm condition; Joe Farrell, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, Hank Crawford, Johnny Hammond...
I believe all or almost all were recorded and mastered by RVG, and to my ears sound incredible (those first four Joe Farrell albums are must-haves, in my opinion - musically and sonically). Thanks again for mentioning

Montpier's picture

to be associating Creed Taylor and 'A Love Supreme' -- Taylor had left for Verve years beforehand.

Yeah, he was involved in Impulse start-up, but Taylor was gone soon after signing Coltrane and producing 'Africa/Brass' -- Bob Thiele should get most of the credit for his stewardship of that label.

Michael Fremer's picture
The copy did any such thing.
Montpier's picture

Hey MF, not critiquing your comments. Okay, the website quote is not inaccurate: Taylor did found Impulse after his success with ABC-Paramount and 5 years later Impulse did release A Love Supreme.

Just think it would have made more sense for the website to acknowledge Taylor's short stay at Impulse with classic projects where he indeed did have a role such as Blues and Abstract Truth or Out of the Cool.

Out of curiosity: based on his 60's productions on Verve and later CTI; if Taylor had remained at Impulse do you think it's likely that label would have released Love Supreme? Meditations? Ascension? Om? Would there have been Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler or Pharoah Sanders albums on Impulse?

Musigny's picture

Every now and then I'm thinking: why isn't there a documentary about Creed Taylor, and specifically CTI label? And now I read the news - someone's finally making one. Have they read my mind? Just please don't read all of it!
What a label. Forget labels: jazz, pop, rock, funk, soul, r&b. Listen to the music instead. CTI has its own sound. Who doesn't know Jobim's The Girl from Ipanema? But I hope they know Jobim went deeper and further with his albums Wave and Stone Flower. If someone asks for music that evokes late 1960's, I recommend them Walter Wanderley's When It Was Done and Moondreams. And if jazz purists complain there's no jazz in CTI - have they heard Freddie Hubbard's Straight Life, Kenny Burrell's God Bless the Child, Joe Farrell's Moon Germs? Like electric guitar? One will find some great examples of it courtesy of Joe Beck. Want to dance? There's Idris Muhammad's House of the Rising Sun, and Johnny Hammond's Gambler's Life albums for you. All this and so much more. Fifty years later CTI still sounds fresh and lively.

Intermediate Listener's picture

Also terrific