Boston has lost an incomparable jazz giant. Fred Taylor, who passed away this weekend at the age of 90, was not a musician — not professionally. He made music possible. Taylor was a legend because he brought countless legends here to perform, from Duke Ellington to Sonny Rollins and beyond. Taylor booked the first shows for Miles Davis when the trumpet player emerged from retirement in the '80s. Tessil Collins of Jazz 24-7, WGBH’s online jazz station, spoke with WGBH Radio’s Arun Rath about Fred Taylor’s legacy. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: So first, if you could set a scene for us. Tell us how Fred Taylor first hit the Boston jazz scene. It would have been in the 1950s, right?

Tessil Collins: It would have been in the 1950s, along with George Wein, another legendary figure who fortunately is still with us. And between George and Fred, they pretty much set the standard for jazz promotion, jazz music here in Boston.

Rath: And what were the kind of acts that he was first involved with?

Collins: Well, the originals, the Dave Brubecks, the Miles Davis’s, the John Coltranes. You know, the real folks who at the time were very popular, but had not yet reached their legendary status. So folks who were really new coming through on the jazz scene, the Dizzy Gillespie's, if you can say Dizzy was new. But they were there at the very forefront of what we would consider to be '60s, '70s jazz.

Rath: He did seem to have an eye for recognizing some of the folks who would go on to become legendary.

Collins: He did. And we also have to remember that at that time, from the '60s into the '70s, he was a promoter of both jazz and what was R& B funk music, when he had the clubs the Jazz Workshop and Paul’s Mall. So on one side, you'd have the Wayne Shorter's and those type of folks on the Jazz Workshop side. And on the other side, you'd have the Stevie Wonders and the Earth, Wind and Fires. It was a beautiful blend, and really, it was a mark of a person that knew music and knew how to present it in a town like Boston.

Rath: Now, it’s a very long career. You know, music producers and promoters don't always have the best reputations in terms of being the best people. We've heard legendary bad stories, but Fred Taylor worked for almost always his whole life and had these really deep relationships with musicians.

What was it about him that …

Collins: Fred was one of the guys that, as a young promoter and marketer, would be the mentor of folks who had wanted to get into the business. And, you know, we would always be asking the question of him, of, you know, 'Why did you stay in this work, which is so difficult? Why are you doing this?'

He said, 'Why would I ever want to leave show business?' In his little tone which is, 'What?! Leave show business?'

Most of us after we'd lost the first thousand dollars, we'd say, you know what, I'm done. But Fred was someone who was legendary because of his ability to explain and have relationships and actually be a teacher for folks.

Rath: We've lost this giant figure and it's very sad to think about the kind of hole. Is there anybody in this jazz scene that is in Boston that isn't somehow touched by his influence, by his legacy?

Collins: There'd have to be very few people in the Boston area who could not put Fred at the forefront of their career. The Grace Kellys, on the performance side, the Sue Auclairs, on the promotion side.

Rath: Grace Kelly is a young saxophone player. He discovered her, right?

Collins: Pretty much. I mean, you know, when you talk about discovery, Fred was among the folks who were the first to present many, many people before folks even knew who they were.

It's a loss. It's a loss. You won't find another person who had the pleasure, the happiness, the joy. He is the industry of jazz in Boston.