Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Billy Taylor, who could probably make a comfortable living lecturing and teaching jazz, is working at his first love this week at the Showboat Lounge in Silver Spring - playing piano in a trio setting.
One of the most congenial and articulate personalities in jazz, Taylor is a fine exponent of warm, graceful, urbane piano playing. He demonstrated all three Wednesday in an excellently paced set that included a staccato "Just You, Just Me" and a fanciful rendition of Clare Fischer's Latin-influenced "Morning."
The pianist, performing through Sunday, is appearing with bassist earl May and drummer Freddie Waits.
The latter is a wonderfully melodic percussionist who elicits the most out of a set of instruments primarily associated with rhythm. Playing some rapid-fire exchanges with Taylor on "All The Things You Are," Waits sounded more like a melodist than the pianist.
Taylor likes to recall the days on 52nd Street in Manhattan in the '40s when he was a protege of master pianist Art Tatum. Wednesday he played in tribute to Tatum "More Than You Know," a glowing melody to which Taylor used an approach similar to the master's: abundant ornamental runs, full harmonies and slight but buoyant melodic variations.