Cecil Taylor Tells Prize Money Thief Noel Muir to 'Die' After Trial
Perhaps one of the largest figures in jazz still living today, Cecil Taylor was scammed out of half a million dollars in 2013 when his Kyoto Prize money went to a fake organization called The Cecil Taylor Foundation. The mastermind, Noel Muir, could face 15 years in prison if indicted.
Mr. Taylor is an archetype of free-form jazz and has been a towering figure in the genre since his youth. Having played with Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and more, the 86-year-old pianist was awarded the Kyoto Prize for his contributions to the "scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind."
But as the media has proven, Mr. Taylor is a man of few words. When asked what he would like to say to Muir, who befriended Taylor when contracted to work on a brownstone next to the musician's apartment, Taylor remained minimal, uttering one word: "Die."
Yes, Cecil Taylor, a world-leading jazzer, told his robber to die in a talk with the press. He also added, "He had no right to do this ... he's not a spiritual man, he'll get what he deserves."
Taylor had met Muir through a mutual friend when Muir was working on said brownstone. Apparently the friendship took off to such a degree that Taylor asked Muir to accompany him to the awards ceremony.
When Muir was asked where the prize money should be deposited, Muir instructed officials to place it into a fake account that ultimately benefitted Muir and his company alone.
As of late, Muir has paid back $200,000 of the money that he swindled. Still, the courts are pressing the verdict that Muir is to pay back Taylor in full, with $292,000 still remaining to be reciprocated.
A most unfortunate circumstance, we hope the issue will resolve itself after the issue goes to court in March.
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