The number of British musicians who have emigrated to work in America are relatively
few, largely due to union restrictions, strict US Immigration rules and,
understandably, the fact that competition is stiff in the home of jazz. The emigres
include pianists George Shearing, Dill Jones, Derek Smith, Ralph Sharon, Keith Ingham,
Victor Feldman and Marion McPartland, baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley, trumpeter
Dizzy Reece, bassist Dave Holland, drummer Kenny Harris and organist Brian Auger. One
of the latest to live and work in America is drummer Mark Taylor, recently at Ronnie
Scott's Club with pianist Monty Alexander.
Mark was playing his first drum kit at the age of five. Turning professional at age 16,
he built up a successful career in Britain before leaving in 1996, notably becoming the
first call as deputy for Martin Drew in Ronnie Scott's Quintet.
The list of British artists with whom Mark has been associated includes John Dankworth,
Cleo Laine, John Taylor, Gordon Beck, Tony Coe, Mike Carr, Dave Cliff, Spike Robinson,
Louis Stewart, Mick Pyne, Jim Mullen, Andy Panayi, Alan Barnes and Dick Morrissey. Mark
also became involved in jazz education, conducting drum workshops, in the UK and
Since February 1996, Mark has worked in New York by special invitation from the Toshiko
Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Jazz Orchestra. Mark is also featured with many artists on the
New York scene, including Monty Alexander, George Coleman, Mose Allison, James Moody,
Johnny Griffin, Kenny Barron, John Hicks and Pharoah Sanders. Mark has toured with such
giants as Clifford Jordan, Art Farmer, Duke Jordan and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis. You can
catch a glimpse of Mark in action in the 1988 Sting movie Stormy Monday, in a scene
with the Don Weller Quartet, and he's captured on film with Ronnie Scott on Jazz From
The Coconut Grove, filmed in Leeds in 1987.